shelf fungus on ficus

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Ive had this benjamina for a year and a half. It was cut down from an 18 foot tree to about 5 feet. I had the guy cut it, he used a saw. I put it into a 20 inch bowel this summer and left the top so the tree can re-cooperate. Everything was going good until this winter when noticed bracket fungi all over the top of the trunk where It was cut. So this tree is probably going to die.
I cut off the parts with fruiting bodies with a 5 inch border and sprayed it with dormant spray. I'm not sure what else I can do for this tree. Because it developed at the trunk chop, I'm assuming it was introduced by the dirty saw the guy used. It was under full sun and and the fungus has actually killed the trunk despite new growth.
I plan to spray it with a copper fungicide although Ive read there is no effective chemical treatment. If anyone has treated a similar problem, please share your thoughts.
 

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Brian Van Fleet

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It looks like the trunk just died back to about the spot where you do see growth, and do not see the fungi. Dieback isn't uncommon with severe chops like this, and it's all a matter of scale. you cut back a big tree, and got big dieback. I suspect the fungus was a result of the dieback, not the cause of it.

I'd remove what you KNOW is dead (circled in red, from what I can tell), seal all wounds and hope for the best; that is, assuming what's left is worth the effort.

Good luck!
 

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This kind of fungus is known to kill the entire tree, also Ive never had a benjamina die back more than 2 inches and this is the first time Ive had this problem. I hope your right though, the base of the tree is very nice. BTW, the area you outlined has been cut off, that part of the trunk was in the trash when I took a picture of it, but thanks for spending time outlining it.
 
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jk_lewis

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After you cut or saw off the deadwood, use a grinder or Dremel tool and scour out the stub well into live wood.

If it were mine, I'd then let the cut dry then treat with straight lime sulfur, but you could also seal it. I would not use that gray Japanese stuff, though; it tends to trap nasties underneath it. Instead find some Phytech 50 Plant Wound Paste, warm it until soft and apply. It is mostly bee's wax, which has a strong fungicidal property and offers real protection. I was introduced to this stuff by an arborist several years ago. You can find it here:

http://www.essenceofthetree.com/products/show/386

And no, I have no connection to the product! From the picture on that page, they package it differently now; you may no longer have to warm it up. Mine came in a 10 oz. tin. I got it 15 years ago, and I'd guess I still have 8 of the ounces left. I don't seal many cuts.
 

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thanks for the link, that cut paste looks good. I've chopped it down to the live wood already and Ill take it down to its final height in the summer. For now I'm going to apply copper antifungals to the trunk. I do wish though there was a systemic antifungal I could give. I suspect the fungus will just come back. I ordered some of that cut paste and ill apply it this summer to try it.
 

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