Jump to content
  • 0
Sign in to follow this  
PRob

Beech with Meripilus Giganteus

Question

Hi All,

A little advice please. I have a beech which is infected by Meripilus Giganteus. The fruiting bodies have appeared in the last 3 years. We have been in the house 20 years and have reduced the crown 3 times to manage its size. Regretfully it was butchered by a brutal topping by the previous owner about 25 years ago and some rot is set in on the stumps at the top of the tree. However it always comes into full leaf as can be seen by the pictures. We have now been advised to remove it entirely by a tree company as it may prove a danger to people on the path and road. How unstable is the tree likely to be, it seems solid as a rock to me?! I have said I would rather not take it down but reduce the crown by about 40% as i have some concerns of causing heave on the foundations of the house. Is this a valid worry or if I plant something as a replacement - perhaps a hornbeam hedge will this counteract any swelling of the soil (we are on clay). General views and opinions welcome as it would be sad to see the tree go! Thank you in advance!

P1030730.JPG.34e55ad4c29eaf5544937accae780787.JPG

P1030729.JPG.30c9daba6ca85702bcfb0b1750d24bc9.JPG

P1030728.JPG.4d7c19c4a90726fe56b27233c0674109.JPG

P1030726.JPG.da7d5ad4f1c8cfb4cb8b478750d283dd.JPG

P1030725.JPG.13cb11e11e870943aee0db31b860b17c.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

  • 0

Probably best for someone who knows what they're doing to have a dig around the roots to assess decay. This can be complicated with Meripilus as as far as I understand, it affects the underside first. Thinking about it, I think it begins beneath the stem hence crown can appear perfectly healthy. Once dieback appears in the crown, it suggests it has progressed to decay the roots which then has an affect on the stability of the tree.

 

David or Hamadryad, can't remember which, maybe both, have linked to a picture of a proper old beech that appears to have had Meripilus at some point in its history but which does not appear to anymore. Imagine that would have been in better rooting conditions than in your situation though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

As above, get a tree consultant in to assess the decay and take it from there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
David or Hamadryad, can't remember which, maybe both, have linked to a picture of a proper old beech that appears to have had Meripilus at some point in its history but which does not appear to anymore. Imagine that would have been in better rooting conditions than in your situation though.

 

Not entirely sure which example you're referring to, but this one from the estate at Windsor (one of Ted Greens, which he showed to us in 2009) has had a Meripilus association for many years/decades and is still alive and standing (unreduced) as far as I'm aware.

 

If it is this one, as you say, it does have a healthier rooting environment (than the one at the top of the thread) & undoubtedly has a strong mycorrhizal symbiotic relationship.

 

 

Quite clearly shows a very healthy vascular root/buttress adaption that has grown at a faster rate than the white rot of the Meripilus on the underside where the older root material is now dysfunctional.

 

.

DSC00950.jpg.c79053d178fdc73a26ba5791512d5a45.jpg

DSC00949.jpg.35289b88f5d577bc752e3d0ba83c8df7.jpg

DSC00948.jpg.1f3ad0ee7599ed53b21865b9f2c1aa3c.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Thank you for your replies - the company who inspected are well known contractors (Elmbridge Tree Services) rather than consultants. Although they seemed very knowledgeable! It seems i need to get a consultant in to look then? Anyone in the Elmbridge area?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
It seems i need to get a consultant in to look then? Anyone in the Elmbridge area?

 

I'm sure there are many reputable Arbtalk members here that are in your area

 

If you don't get any direct contact, you could try this list of Registered Consultants..........

 

Directory of Arboricultural Association Registered Consultants

 

 

 

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
As above, get a tree consultant in to assess the decay and take it from there.

 

A consultant is just going to cost extra. I know things have moved on a bit since londsdale recommended felling whenever you saw merip on beech, but it is a heavily reduced beech on the roadside, its days are numbered... IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

To my mind, you've identified meripilus on a roadside beech and it fails.... one day. What would you feel like if someone was killed. That would be with you a long time. I understand you are keen to retain the tree but is that worry worth it.

So... the only way you can retain is to give someone else the responsibility. If they say its OK and they are qualified to do so then I would not blame you (a novice) if something happened in the future. People would say you'd done the best you could have other that joining the club of felling everything.

I've been watching some roadside chestnuts by our local hospital for a couple of years now. They were showing some bad signs. Only recently did a branch fail and the council have now removed 2 of them. Now where do I stand on that. Surely the council have been monitoring them but they obviously thought they were OK. It took a physical fail of a branch to break them from their reverie. I don't think you would have a warning. The beech would just fall.

Qualified consultant or fell. Theres your two options. IMO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
A consultant is just going to cost extra. I know things have moved on a bit since londsdale recommended felling whenever you saw merip on beech, but it is a heavily reduced beech on the roadside, its days are numbered... IMO.

 

I would love to see a direct reference to the Lonsdale statement you mention, and one can be certain Dr. Lonsdale's opinions have moved on since he published principles of hazard assessment some 14-15 years ago. I am sure he would express extreme caution and thorough investigation in all meripilus cases where retention is desired.

 

Meripilus can be adapted to for some time like all fungi, but we have to remember that it is one of the few that possess pectinase in their enzymatic armoury. Pectinase enables access to the middle lamella, a feature of parasitic/pathogenic fungi.

 

Matthecks description of the mode of decay is very good, talking about the shear killing roots which are degraded by this fungi and key in the failure mode of old beeches, the shallow root plate that forms as a result of long term colonisation/ losing its shear root ball anchorage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Featured Adverts

  • Tip site reviews

About

Arbtalk.co.uk is a hub for the arboriculture industry in the UK.  
If you're just starting out and you need business, equipment, tech or training support you're in the right place.  If you've done it, made it, got a van load of oily t-shirts and have decided to give something back by sharing your knowledge or wisdom,  then you're welcome too.
If you would like to contribute to making this industry more effective and safe then welcome.
Just like a living tree, it'll always be a work in progress.
Please have a look around, sign up, share and contribute the best you have.

See you inside.

The Arbtalk Team

Follow us

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.