Kretzschmaria duesta / brittle cinder fungus

hannasm

New Member
Location
usa
I think my dog broke through some trunk bark on my shagbark hickory revealing a sizable cavity and his digging shows some root rot just below as well. This happened during winter and now in spring a colony of some fungus or lichen is exploding in growth on the cavity. The crud is changing from whiter to blacker in the past few days since I took the photos.

The tree looked perfectly normal before the bark broke, and it has vibrant and green foliage and appears healthy as far as I can see. I was climbing on it not too long ago and I didn't notice anything while up there either, but the bark can likely hide issues.

I would appreciate any thoughts on the photos, is it lichen or a fungus? Any obvious cause for concern or could this be symbiotic crud? Is the cavity itself forming rams horns that are going to split the tree in half in the future or is that growth pattern ok? Any reason I should stop climbing it?

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cerviarborist

Very stable member
Location
Florida, USA
That absolutely didn't happen over this past winter. You're looking at years of ebb and flow between the progress of the fungi, and the reaction wood put on by the tree. You should pay a qualified professional arborist to do a site visit to evaluate what's going on with the tree so that you can make an informed decision, especially if you're using the tree for a life support (climbing).
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
Gross.

Try Kretzschmaria duesta and go from there
20200603_145843.jpg

I've already looked into this as far as I am able, but would love to hear any thoughts. This looks like Kretzschmaria to me, but I'm not yet qualified to call it on my own. I forwarded it to a lab. I'm noticing that this one spans more living tissue than the OP. Anyone have any thoughts about how soon the tree would fail? It's got substantial lean on the side opposite the fungus.
 

hannasm

New Member
Location
usa
I appreciate the quick identification. I had been looking through lichen pictures hoping it wasn't a serious disease.

It sounds like it doesn't affect the bark and so it may have been living there hidden from view for quite a while. I'm not sure but perhaps the black / greenish mass of trunk / root underneath the fruiting bodies also may have indicated an issue if i had looked closely / with more expertise than i have. With a little digging it's pretty obvious it's not in good shape there.

Is this something any certified professional is going to have expertise in? It sounds like there has been some success with frequent application of trichoderma over prolonged periods of time, and i don't really want a paid consult just to get a quick 'chop it down' diagnosis.

So far i don't see obvious google listings to order specially selected, Kretzschmaria targeted trichoderma gel, but assuming the tree isn't already a complete loss this could be a realistic treatment regimen for a more important tree.

I'll definitley stop climbing this tree, it's a shame since it had some cool perches to hang out on.

@JD3000 came up in my google searches, i guess this issue comes up often enough.
 

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
Is this something any certified professional is going to have expertise in? It sounds like there has been some success with frequent application of trichoderma over prolonged periods of time, and i don't really want a paid consult just to get a quick 'chop it down' diagnosis.
Not just any certified professional will know what to tell you, unfortunately a “certified arborist” oftentimes is just someone who knows how to pass a test. A “Board Certified Master Arborist”, or someone who is a member in good standing of the ASCA is more likely to know, but still not a guarantee as not every arborist specializes in the same things.

Where in the “USA” are you located? That may help someone here give you a recommendation of a specific arborist to call. Around here we have one of the best in the country, I call him when I need to make a call I am not qualified for, but I don’t know if you’re around here or on the other side of the country somewhere.
 

ATH

Well-Known Member
Location
Ohio
....

So far i don't see obvious google listings to order specially selected, Kretzschmaria targeted trichoderma gel, but assuming the tree isn't already a complete loss this could be a realistic treatment regimen for a more important tree.
....
I haven't found a source for trichoderma in the States.

The link you provided lists "brittle cinder fungus" - that is Kretzschmaria.
"When using the product against the brittle cinder fungus, an expert accompaniment is generally recommended"
 

hannasm

New Member
Location
usa
I am in the cincinnati oh area and I counted at least 3 master certified arborists from the ISA listings. It's a lot easier to call around for quotes than it is to find the right person for a consult but I am sure they are all very skilled.
 

cerviarborist

Very stable member
Location
Florida, USA
The part of the fungus you can see is only the fruit of the organism. It's not the part that's destroying the wood. Do you think that pulling the berries off of poison ivy would make the leaves and stem of the plant any less toxic?
 

JD3000

Most well-known member
Location
Columbus
Last I heard Trichoderma was still in the study phase but I believe it is being looked at as a pruning and wound paint/treatment to be applied as soon as possible after wounding. This is in hope of outcompeting serious decay fungi
 

hannasm

New Member
Location
usa
The part of the fungus you can see is only the fruit of the organism. It's not the part that's destroying the wood. Do you think that pulling the berries off of poison ivy would make the leaves and stem of the plant any less toxic?
If pulling the berries was equivalent to killing the surface fungi, that would at be equivalent to stopping the reproductive system. Maybe the deeper rooted fungi would eventually die off from other causes (old age, oxygen, light or other essential nutrient deprivation) if the surface fungi is inhibited for long enough with frequent applications of something that can kill them.

I'm sure it would be very dependent on killing as much as possible on the surface repeatedly over a fairly long period of time and also that it doesn't cause some other sort of toxicity that stresses the tree in other ways.

It doesn't look like MyCoSolutions is shipping their trichoderma treatment to the states but i sent them an email just in case.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
Maybe the deeper rooted fungi would eventually die off from other causes (old age, oxygen, light or other essential nutrient deprivation) if the surface fungi is inhibited for long enough with frequent applications of something that can kill them.

I'm sure it would be very dependent on killing as much as possible on the surface repeatedly over a fairly long period of time and also that it doesn't cause some other sort of toxicity that stresses the tree in other ways.
Consider that this may be misplaced optimism. Fungi just don't generally go away unless there is an extreme abiotic force that collaterally destroys the host. Professionally, do something else. If it is a personal tree, go crazy and take pics.
 

flushcut

Well-Known Member
Location
Delavan, WI
That absolutely didn't happen over this past winter. You're looking at years of ebb and flow between the progress of the fungi, and the reaction wood put on by the tree. You should pay a qualified professional arborist to do a site visit to evaluate what's going on with the tree so that you can make an informed decision, especially if you're using the tree for a life support (climbing).
My post was sarcasm bro. I know it didn't happen over a winter. Ya know like when customers say "it just died" or "it was fine last week"
 

JD3000

Most well-known member
Location
Columbus
View attachment 68444

I've already looked into this as far as I am able, but would love to hear any thoughts. This looks like Kretzschmaria to me, but I'm not yet qualified to call it on my own. I forwarded it to a lab. I'm noticing that this one spans more living tissue than the OP. Anyone have any thoughts about how soon the tree would fail? It's got substantial lean on the side opposite the fungus.
It's a crust fungi, probably Xylariaceae
 

ATH

Well-Known Member
Location
Ohio
If pulling the berries was equivalent to killing the surface fungi, that would at be equivalent to stopping the reproductive system. ..
That is exactly correct. what you see on the surface is called a fruiting body for a reason. I use the illustration of apples in an apple tree all the time when explaining this to clients. Same illustration different plant. The fact remains what you see is a fruiting body the actual "body" of the fungus is inside the wood decaying it. The only purpose of what you are seeing as far as a fungus is concerned is to release spores to perpetuate the species.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
It's a crust fungi, probably Xylariaceae
You're making me do some research. So far, I've learned that Kreutzschmaria are Xylariaceae, which are of course ascomycetes. But, a search for crust fungi yields results for basidiomycetes. I'm not concerned, just trying to figure it all out... I emailed it to a local UF mycologist. He can stop by to look at it if he needs/wants to, and has a vested interest since the tree is on University property. I'll try to remember to report back, if anyone is interested...
 

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