Advice on bracket fungi

Garden and greenhouse enthusiasts may be interested in the latest advice from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) on dealing with bracket fungi.

Named as disease of the month for January, the RHS website has looked at the fungi in depth and explained that the problem can cause heartwood decay in trees.

They can rot the wood so badly that the tree eventually topples, endangering any structures or plants in the immediate vicinity.

Symptoms include the appearance of bracket-shaped fruiting bodies on the trunk or main branches and white or brown rot in the heartwood.

Little can be done to prevent the problem and removing brackets to prevent spore release has "very little effect on the overall risk".

Fagus, or beech trees, seem to be particularly susceptible to bracket fungi, as do Fraxinus and Prunuus.

The RHS warned that "gardeners are legally responsible for their trees and may be liable for prosecution if damage or injury results from falling timber".

It advised that those who notice the issue should contact the Arboriculture Association for guidance.

The RHS site contains lots of growing tips and gardening advice, including how to deal with Januarys pest of the month – pigeons.