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Hello, my local council will be cutting down a beautiful fully grown silver birch because it was diagnosed with Grifola frondosa. They are saying that on inspection, dIeback was noted in the crown indicating that the root system of the birch was becoming compromised. The tree is near a road and school so they are saying it is a hazard. 
I am looking for any remedy to avoid another mature tree being butchered. If anyone has an idea, I would be keen to know.

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Grifola frondosa is an unusual association with birch. 
I've noted it on other tree species (Robinia, hazel, cherry) as well its main host (oak) but don’t recall seeing it with birch. Although I have read that it can be a host association, and have seen a record of this. 

 

Do you know if there evidence of it being G. frondosa? Just interested. 
 

If it is, then it is likely to be evidence of root dysfunction and associated white rot decay of some/all of the roots of the tree, possibly caused by root fracture via a strong wind event or below ground damage from utility excavation.
 

Has the tree been tested in any way? 
Visual assessment during root excavation, decay drill, pull testing? 

Again, just interested in the tree inspectors methods. 

 

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Michelle,
David's reply is from one of the most knowledgeable people on here, and probably in the country. You will be hard pressed to get better info/advice.

J.

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Hello David,

 

thank you for your feedback.  I am in contact with the council’s tree department so happy to ask them their inspection methods.  I am no expert at all just keen to avoid this tree being destroyed so any expert advice is appreciated!

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On 30/04/2020 at 13:28, Michelle Fiers said:

Hello David,

 

thank you for your feedback.  I am in contact with the council’s tree department so happy to ask them their inspection methods.  I am no expert at all just keen to avoid this tree being destroyed so any expert advice is appreciated!

 

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Hello,

i have just heard back from the council and quote below what they are saying with regards to the fungus on the birch

 

”No decay detection has been carried out on the tree. The reason for this is the decay caused by this fungus is affecting the roots, evidenced by the crown dying back, which is a good indication that there is a problem with the root system. Diagnostic equipment cannot detect decay below ground level unless the roots are first exposed, which in the highway is not practical due to underground utilities”.
“ The association of G.frondosa and birch is unusual, but not impossible. Another fungal species similar in appearance is Meripilus giganteus which also causes a root rot resulting in tree failure. In both case our maintenance options are the same. The tree has root decay and its position next to a busy road and outside a school means the level of risk to the public is unacceptable. There are no fungal controls that can be applied and crown reducing the tree will not bring the risk down to an acceptable level for the location. So the decision has been taken to remove the tree to maintain a safe environment for the public“

 

The tree looks healthy with no sign of this fungus, do I have a chance in saving it? 

66174743-2B4A-4313-83FF-2ADDEE951488.jpeg

4F97AAA6-A1F0-41B9-B955-2FC5A2371DCE.jpeg

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I'd say no, and that your energy would be best spent elsewhere. Its a short lived species as has already been mentioned, and no particular specimen at that. 

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My 2 pence worth,

 

At a glance I wouldn't have any great issue retaining it based on those photos.

 

Edited by tree77

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On 30/04/2020 at 13:28, Michelle Fiers said:

Hello David,

 

thank you for your feedback.  I am in contact with the council’s tree department so happy to ask them their inspection methods.  I am no expert at all just keen to avoid this tree being destroyed so any expert advice is appreciated!

 

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