About Trees – Kent Tree Surgeons


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Fungal attack on prominent tree

We were called to carry out a standard tree survey on this Ash tree. Upon arriving in Kingston upon Thames, it became apparent immediately that there was a fungal attack on prominent tree. The fungus in this case was  Inonotus hispidus – shaggy polypore or velvet fungus. This fungus causes “simultaneous white rot” – the break down of lignin and cellulose, it can also be the cause of some “soft rot”. Please remember this is the time of year to spot fungal fruiting bodies on your trees (Autumn), correct diagnosis is imperative.

Is it such a big deal?
In short – YES!  This rot results in fairly brittle fractures of wood due to the loss of tensile and compressive strength. Fraxinus (ash) are host trees to this fungus and rapidly weakened. This can result in mechanical failures of branches and or main stems. It is tenuously linked to the phenomena of “Summer Branch drop”. This was particularly worrying as the tree was in a prominent area with high footfall and vehicles passing often. Action had to be taken fast.

How did you do it?
The tree was risk assessed as being unsafe to climb, so we hired a MEWP and after making the council aware and serving a five day notice we attended site and safety removed the tree. Fortunately we are fully IPAF trained and so using MEWP’s posses no issues for us.

Yes, we completed the task in hand, on schedule and with no dramas. The client was very happy with our efforts. Bacon sarnies on white bread with ketchup were provided all round. Happy days.
Luckily our site surveyor was on the ball and spotted this potentially very dangerous issue.

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