[NAFEX] lime sulfur

Stephen Sadler Docshiva at Docshiva.org
Wed Apr 5 17:13:24 EDT 2006

Armillarea mellea, or oak root fungus, may be what you're thinking of.  In
that case, the mushrooms come up from the infected roots, rather than coming
out the trunk.  They're large, tan to dark brown, and delicious!  The same
controversy exists about them - do they cause the harm, speed it along, or
just do no harm to the tree at all, simply feed on the dead tissue?  

Armillarea infections in grapevines indicate that it is a primary pathogen.
It cannot be controlled by fungicides.  Infected vines die, while others
around them remain healthy.  Infected trees can live for years, even
decades, although their health will slowly decline.  Like all fungi, it
likes warm and moist conditions.  Like most pathogens, it may be less able
to infect plants grown in healthy soil, where there are competing

Oaks here in the Mediterranean-climate Central Valley can grow fine through
our hot, dry, summers, and don't become infected.  Oaks planted in yards,
surrounded by turf, and watered through the summer are susceptible.

If you have a plant with Armillarea, be aware that its days are numbered.
Any susceptible plant you grow in that area will stand a good chance of
being infected as well, unless the soil is allowed to dry out regularly.

As for the delicious part: orchardists call this "oak root disease";
gourmets call it "honey mushroom".  Which brings us very much to topic,
doesn't it?  Is a fruiting body of a fungus an explorable fruit?  One needs
be sure of identification, of course.  And this is not an alcohol-friendly
mushroom in some - chemicals in the mushroom don't mix well with alcohol in
the bodies of a small percentage of people.  But they are a prized find for
mushroom hunters, and I've gathered and eaten many, many pounds. 

Stephen Sadler, Ph.D.

-----Original Message-----
From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of tanis grif
Sent: Wednesday, April 05, 2006 1:25 PM
To: North American Fruit Explorers
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] lime sulfur

I was trying to recall the name of a fungus which indeed does do both the
and the fruiting.  Does armillaria sound right?  

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