Kretzschmaria duesta / brittle cinder fungus

KTSmith

Well-Known Member
Been writing a paper on K. deusta the last couple of weeks. Sure looks like that to me. As colb noted, that is a species in the Xylariaceae, part of the Ascomycetes.
Will be an easy call, yay or nay, with anyone with experience in the group, but those pictures are classic K. deuta.
Oh, in the first batch of photos, the white margin is the actively advancing front. The powdery grey centers are where the imperfect or asexual spores are produced. That contrast draws the eye and is when the fungus is most visible to an outside observer. You will find later in the summer that there will just be thin, dark brown to black, mottled, crispy tissue. In that layer, the flask-shaped sexual fruiting bodies will be produced. At maturity, its easy to miss. But like I say, the immature growth form is what most often provokes concern.
Depending on the setting, this disease can be a legitimate cause for concern.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
Been writing a paper on K. deusta the last couple of weeks. Sure looks like that to me. As colb noted, that is a species in the Xylariaceae, part of the Ascomycetes.
Will be an easy call, yay or nay, with anyone with experience in the group, but those pictures are classic K. deuta.
Oh, in the first batch of photos, the white margin is the actively advancing front. The powdery grey centers are where the imperfect or asexual spores are produced. That contrast draws the eye and is when the fungus is most visible to an outside observer. You will find later in the summer that there will just be thin, dark brown to black, mottled, crispy tissue. In that layer, the flask-shaped sexual fruiting bodies will be produced. At maturity, its easy to miss. But like I say, the immature growth form is what most often provokes concern.
Depending on the setting, this disease can be a legitimate cause for concern.
I would like to read the paper. Thanks for jumping into this thread. I'm studying for my bcma and noting that the recommended book for fungus is out of date in terms of nomenclature. Do you have a recommendation for some review papers, or a recent book that are arb-centric?
 

KTSmith

Well-Known Member
The paper I mention is still in preparation, but should be submitted within the next week or so. The lead author is Hugh Morris of the wood products part of Empa, the Swiss federal research outfit. Prof. Francis Schwarze is at Empa too and is a coauthor on this review on zone lines and spalting. So this won't be arbo-centric, but might interest high-end artisanal woodworkers. Hugh is a postdoc with a limited tour at Empa so I expect he'll submit it to a mycology-specialized journal. I expect he's looking for a permanent research slot. Hard to come by but publications in high-impact journals are the beans that get counted by bean counters!
I chuckle at colb's sincere desire to be current in fungal nomenclature. Me too! Actually, the work above prompted me to look up the synonymy of a few at the websites: Index Fungorum and Species Fungorum which share some datasets but use slightly different rules to apply for synonymy.
And of course, we are not required to use the most recently applied name, even if that name was validly published. Our tradition is to use the earliest coined name that is consistent with the current concept of hierarchy and relatedness. So the name we use has two functions: as a unique identifier (like a sku barcode) for the taxon (species, genus, family). The other function is to place that taxon in relationship to other taxa. Into which box does the species fit and is the box on this shelf or that shelf.
So as concepts of evolution and development change, one genus (Polyporus, say) may be split into 20 genera by one expert and into 3 genera by another expert. Then, it might take a decade or 3 after publishing the splitting for users to say "yes, it makes more sense to have those 20 genera". That's why so many "new names" of the 1980-90s were actually published in the 1910's or earlier. The users of this sort of information (maybe you and me) have the freedom to do their own scholarship on concepts of relatedness and make their own call through brute force of study and scholarship.
Or, if you are like me now, choose an authority and use what they say is the current correct name. That might be the Center for Forest Mycology (CFMR) at the Forest Products Lab in Madison,WI. The websites mentioned above are operated out of Royal Botanic Garden in Kew and are up-to-date with worldwide input.
'Course the troubling thing there is that my friends at CFMR (I used to be their supervisor) don't produce an updated list of names of arboricultural interest on a regular basis.
Sorry, I expect I've driven away any interest in the topic. Not the first time!
 

hannasm

New Member
Location
usa
It seems like there is an all star cast of people on this thread and I am scrambling to learn the name of this new life form eating one of my favorite trees from the inside out.

It sounds like the fruit body is still in an adolescent stage so does that mean spores aren't airborne yet? Can I spray it with something now to prevent the reproductive cycle at least? What could I use?

I just sprayed my deck with boric acid. I wonder if the rot on my deck is k. Deusta too.

I get the impression it is deeply impregnated in the roots and trunk so killing the fruit isn't enough. The packaging from boric acid mention drilling a hole and then pressure treating the structural lumber. Is any form of pressure treating ever applied to a live tree without killing it?
 

Diggity

New Member
Location
State College
It seems like there is an all star cast of people on this thread and I am scrambling to learn the name of this new life form eating one of my favorite trees from the inside out.

It sounds like the fruit body is still in an adolescent stage so does that mean spores aren't airborne yet? Can I spray it with something now to prevent the reproductive cycle at least? What could I use?

I just sprayed my deck with boric acid. I wonder if the rot on my deck is k. Deusta too.

I get the impression it is deeply impregnated in the roots and trunk so killing the fruit isn't enough. The packaging from boric acid mention drilling a hole and then pressure treating the structural lumber. Is any form of pressure treating ever applied to a live tree without killing it?
 

Diggity

New Member
Location
State College
I had a lab confirmed case of K Duesta last year. The labs recommendation is to remove the tree. Anytime a wood decay or root rot fungi is present, that’s the solution. There’s no way to stop it and it’s only a matter of time before too much wood or too many roots are compromised to allow for catastrophic failure. If it was in my yard, I would not climb it. If there are potential targets, I would remove it

 

ATH

Well-Known Member
Location
Ohio
I had a lab confirmed case of K Duesta last year. The labs recommendation is to remove the tree. Anytime a wood decay or root rot fungi is present, that’s the solution. There’s no way to stop it and it’s only a matter of time before too much wood or too many roots are compromised to allow for catastrophic failure. If it was in my yard, I would not climb it. If there are potential targets, I would remove it

By no means would I say anytime any wood decay or root rot is present that the tree should be removed. In fact, the vast majority of the time most decay fungi do not elevate the risk of failure. That is why it is important to know what you are dealing with. Kretzschmaria is one of the more aggressive fungi that weaken the wood more than others. It is hard to detect how much strength loss there is. That is why it is the boogeyman as @JD3000 put it.
 

hannasm

New Member
Location
usa
For a little more context, I have what is probably a 50 year old sugar maple and a 3 year old cherry (I placed this one) planted near this pronounced doomed tree.

The maple seems like it would be the more likely victim here based on the information ive seen. Is there any reason to think a hickory could pull through when other species more commonly impacted by this fungus would not? Is there something I should do for these other two trees and, the replacement I eventually need to place?

It seems like the trichoderma product root shield is available here in the states but is there anything I could suppress k. Deusta for these other potential victims?

I had an arborist here about 3 years ago and they said verticillium wilt was present and recommended ground injections and trunk injections, should I be getting upset about this?

I scheduled one of these master arborists to visit but all I talked to is a secretary and he is backlogged 4 weeks. So should i be spraying listerine and crisco or some other concotion on the fruit bodies to suppress them?
 
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KTSmith

Well-Known Member
Sorry, but no sprays/poultices/disinfectants would stop the current infection. I think even the Trichoderma proponents don't claim that it will stop a pre-existing infection.
Although what we see in the OP photos are annual growths, the infection itself is perennial and keeps spreading within the tree for some years prior to producing what you see. You might like to see this little article
It's not so much the species of the other trees (both cherry and maple are susceptible), but the presence of wounds in the lower bole or woody roots. I assume that decay fungi are always around, everywhere, all the time. Managing them is to keep the trees in good shape to reduce opportunities for infection. True, some pathogens don't need wounds (like Armillaria), but wounding definitely promotes infection.
Yes, verticillium wilt can be quite serious and difficult to manage.
 
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hannasm

New Member
Location
usa
This linked article from the swiss manufacturer MyCo Solutions indicates it is a 'sort of cure'. They have said they are unable to ship to the US due to import restrictions.

https://mycosolutions.swiss/en/2019...f-the-beneficial-mushroom-against-less-fungi/

Trichoderma can be used in the form of a “cure” against some of the best known decay fungi (e.g. Artist’s bracket, honey fungus, giant polypore, brittle cinder fungus). Over four years Trichoderma is screened for competitiveness against the host pathogen should be applied four times in the vegetation period. For this purpose, a special gel (in which the spores “rest”) is dissolved in water and when activated is then distributed over the root space. Also, an intensive application of the gel can be directly applied to the exposed fruiting bodies.
I imagine there is always a possibility that artifically bred trichoderma strains could be classified as an invasive pest down the road but that's not the current perspective on this right?

I'll be satisfied with revenge killing the surface fungi in lieu of a complete cure at this point though. It sounds like trichoderma soil ammendment would be beneficial to my trees even if it isn't specifically effective against K. Deusta though i think finding an effective strain would be optimal.

I'm looking at neem oil, or perhaps my propane torch as possible revenge vectors right now
 

Diggity

New Member
Location
State College
By no means would I say anytime any wood decay or root rot is present that the tree should be removed. In fact, the vast majority of the time most decay fungi do not elevate the risk of failure. That is why it is important to know what you are dealing with. Kretzschmaria is one of the more aggressive fungi that weaken the wood more than others. It is hard to detect how much strength loss there is. That is why it is the boogeyman as @JD3000 put it.
That post of mine was not right. I didn’t say what I meant very well. I agree with ATH about the wood decay fungi. There are definitely acceptable levels of wood decay. There actually has to be a good bit of wood lost in order to lose enough strength to justify removal. I was trying to say that the lab always points towards removal when they confirm root rot. And root rot is what gets me curious because wood decay can be measure fairly well but when root rot is present it’s very difficult to know how much root loss you are dealing with. And I’ve removed trees with root rot that looked like they shouldn’t have stood there because there were no roots left. I feel the when root rot is present the tree needs to be continually monitored and evaluated. And in My opinion root rot can very well elevate theriskbecause of thefact That you can’t tell how advanced it is
 
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ATH

Well-Known Member
Location
Ohio
....I was trying to say that the lab always points towards removal when they confirm root rot. .....
that makes more sense then! I'd propose that the lab shouldn't be making those recommendations. They should identify. The expert looking at the tree should to weigh all circumstances to offer a risk rating and let the tree owner/manager make the decisions with a full compliment of information.
 

Diggity

New Member
Location
State College
that makes more sense then! I'd propose that the lab shouldn't be making those recommendations. They should identify. The expert looking at the tree should to weigh all circumstances to offer a risk rating and let the tree owner/manager make the decisions with a full compliment of information.
Yea I can agree with that. I think it’s more of a disclaimer/cya
 
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guymayor

Well-Known Member
Location
East US, Earth
I'm a BCMA; for 6 years I've been managing a shingle oak with this fungus in NE Cincinnati. Your pic shows the fungus is consuming already-dead wood, but the scar tissue on either side of it looks very strong. I would not worry about climbing the tree but YES it's good to get an experience eye on it. I'll be back in OH this summer; contact me if you like.

Meanwhile, you could probe it with a long screwdriver or a shish kebab skewer to see how punky the innards are. re names, I agree with Kevin:
“As for nomenclature, this disease has been reclassified from the genus Hypoxylon to Ustulina to Kretzschmaria. In the field, we will stick to the more general term ‘hypoxylon,’ with a small ‘h’." (2012)

Here are 2 stories about previous cases with this disease.
 

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hannasm

New Member
Location
usa
I recently repurposed a piece of a dead ash for storage of firewood kindling and lo and behold what was growing there.

20200629_174142.jpg


I had a master arborist out here today and after some taps on the trunk with a hammer he isn't worried about the trees vitality or strength. I haven't received his written report but to paraphrase he feels that CODIT has effectively walled of the wound and the k. Deusta has been growing here for perhaps even 50 years.

I have also found a trichoderma product called Tenet WP which, after talking to the manufacturer, should be effective in controlling k. Deusta.

This manufacturer also mentioned another product called nitryx sp containing Paenibacillus polymyxa which is an endophyte. These endophytes can colonize inside the cambium in a symbiotic way, and also show strong antifungal properties in the lab (but this specific usage is not part of the product label).

I have applied the trichoderma per label instructions as well as a direct application of trichoderma in a thick paste directly to the k. Deusta.

After about a week there seems to be strong signs that the trichoderma is colonizing the k deusta fruit bodies with a greenish tinted powdery appearance. There seem to be spider webs on the decay too but I'm not 100% sure whether that could be bacterial or fungal instead. It seems like a few fruit bodies may not have powdery green residue so I can understand why I may need to treat multiple times.

20200711_163315.jpg

I am planning to perform a Nitryx treatment as well as further trichoderma applications and will be monitoring the situation.

@guymayor I did send you an email. If you didn't see it I'd be happy to send another, just pm me.
 

JD3000

Most well-known member
Location
Columbus
I recently repurposed a piece of a dead ash for storage of firewood kindling and lo and behold what was growing there.

View attachment 69171


I had a master arborist out here today and after some taps on the trunk with a hammer he isn't worried about the trees vitality or strength. I haven't received his written report but to paraphrase he feels that CODIT has effectively walled of the wound and the k. Deusta has been growing here for perhaps even 50 years.

I have also found a trichoderma product called Tenet WP which, after talking to the manufacturer, should be effective in controlling k. Deusta.

This manufacturer also mentioned another product called nitryx sp containing Paenibacillus polymyxa which is an endophyte. These endophytes can colonize inside the cambium in a symbiotic way, and also show strong antifungal properties in the lab (but this specific usage is not part of the product label).

I have applied the trichoderma per label instructions as well as a direct application of trichoderma in a thick paste directly to the k. Deusta.

After about a week there seems to be strong signs that the trichoderma is colonizing the k deusta fruit bodies with a greenish tinted powdery appearance. There seem to be spider webs on the decay too but I'm not 100% sure whether that could be bacterial or fungal instead. It seems like a few fruit bodies may not have powdery green residue so I can understand why I may need to treat multiple times.

View attachment 69172

I am planning to perform a Nitryx treatment as well as further trichoderma applications and will be monitoring the situation.

@guymayor I did send you an email. If you didn't see it I'd be happy to send another, just pm me.
Could be Kretzschmaria, could also be a Hypoxylon or Biscogniauxia or perhaps another
 

Chaplain242

Well-Known Member
I recently repurposed a piece of a dead ash for storage of firewood kindling and lo and behold what was growing there.

View attachment 69171


I had a master arborist out here today and after some taps on the trunk with a hammer he isn't worried about the trees vitality or strength. I haven't received his written report but to paraphrase he feels that CODIT has effectively walled of the wound and the k. Deusta has been growing here for perhaps even 50 years.

I have also found a trichoderma product called Tenet WP which, after talking to the manufacturer, should be effective in controlling k. Deusta.

This manufacturer also mentioned another product called nitryx sp containing Paenibacillus polymyxa which is an endophyte. These endophytes can colonize inside the cambium in a symbiotic way, and also show strong antifungal properties in the lab (but this specific usage is not part of the product label).

I have applied the trichoderma per label instructions as well as a direct application of trichoderma in a thick paste directly to the k. Deusta.

After about a week there seems to be strong signs that the trichoderma is colonizing the k deusta fruit bodies with a greenish tinted powdery appearance. There seem to be spider webs on the decay too but I'm not 100% sure whether that could be bacterial or fungal instead. It seems like a few fruit bodies may not have powdery green residue so I can understand why I may need to treat multiple times.

View attachment 69172

I am planning to perform a Nitryx treatment as well as further trichoderma applications and will be monitoring the situation.

@guymayor I did send you an email. If you didn't see it I'd be happy to send another, just pm me.
Please keep us updated on results with these treatments. I have another that I use on trouble fungus’ - but would like to see your results with these treatments.
 
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