Honey fungus warning for gardeners

Keen gardeners and greenhouse owners have been warned to be on the lookout for honey fungus, a disease which mainly affects trees and shrubs.

In certain cases, honey fungus can cause plants to bleed and bark split, with tell-tale signs appearing just above the level of the soil.

However, the first sign of honey fungus is often the death of the tree or shrub as it is extremely hard to detect.

Other things to look out for include foliage discolouration and early autumnal leaf fall, although possibly the best way of finding out whether honey fungus is present is to strip back an area of bark and analyse the roots or stem base of a given plant.

Infected trees or shrubs will display an off-whitish layer of fungus which smells of mushrooms.

Unfortunately for the gardener, there is no treatment for honey fungus other than to dig up the plant and have it burned.

This will at least stop the fungus’ spread, thereby saving other plants in the vicinity.

Plants particularly vulnerable to honey fungus include apple trees, birch, rose and wisteria.