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Inonotus Hispidus on apple trees

Sr Mary

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Four out of five 100 year-old Bramley Seedlings in our monastery orchard have this year produced bracket fungi which I have identified (from this helpful site) as inodotus hispidus. It probably spread from an ash tree that was felled some years ago and has continued to produce fungus on the stump. When we had the ash cut down the tree surgeon assured us that they only needed to reduce the main limbs and it could live for many more years even though the heartwood was rotting. For safety reasons, because of its position, we had it felled. The Bramleys are not a danger and I am wondering if we can leave them (they crop very well) or if younger, 50 year-old trees will become infected with the fungus. I would be really grateful for any advice. Many thanks.

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the Hispidus will eventualy hollow out the old ripewoods, the only real issue to the trees will be from a reduction in the wall thickness of the hollow stems causing branches to be shed, this could be managed perfectly well.


if they are pruned regularly and if needed propped too these could last decades yet.

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I would be more than happy to pay a visit and offer some site specific advise, should you feel you want it.:thumbup1:


glad i could help


That is extremely kind of you, Tony, and if you are ever in London it would be great to have you look at the trees. I noticed from an earlier post when I was searching the site that you are in Bucks. I've just taken a walk round the orchard to let those fine old trees know they have a reprieve! Thanks again.

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  • 5 years later...


There are  black fungi on the old apple trees in my dad's garden. I've attached photos. I think that they may be some type of shaggy bracket. I was rather dismayed to read that many people have suggested that gardeners cut trees with shaggy bracket down. The trees are not in any ones way in an orchard with grass and have produced fairly good crops of apples thus far. I have joined the network as I read this blog online and this was the first remotely hopeful response I have read. My dad died a couple of year's ago and so his trees have not been tended for a while and I would like to try to deal with these fungi in whatever way is best, do some pruning and keep his trees going as long as I can. Any suggestions welcome.



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All very true, and I can think of very few hispidus related failures of apples, and it is a very common host/fungi combination around here. Far more likely is branch breakage from the weight of the apples! But one other thought to consider is that if major branch loss due to extensive decay looks likely, a bit of tip reduction (or propping) could save a greater loss. And the lesser need to lay down reaction wood could allow an aging tree of dwindling energy reserves to use its resources on something more beneficial, like compartmentalisation of the decay, or producing more apples, which may break the branch! Hmm...

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