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Serious mold problem

GlennVB

New Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2021
Messages
4
Location
Hungary
hello everyone

We live since 3 years on a piece of land in the South of Hungary. the property was abandoned for many years and was full of wild grown trees. Mostly Robinia pseudoacacia, White poplar (Populus alba) and Common Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis). As we are cleaning out the land we discovered a black mold on many of the trunks of the trees. It is a sooty like mold starting at ground level. higher parts of the trees seem to be fine. It’s mostly affecting Robinia but 1 hackberry is affected as well. 5 km away from the property we discovered a planted pine forest where many of the trees seem to have the same problem. It appears on old robinia fencing poles as well.

On the living trees, the mold seems to grow on the outside of the bark, not under it. The trees which are worst affected are loosing their bark. Under some of the trees the ground gets black as well.

Does anybody know what this is and what to do about it?

Sorry for the bad English and thanks in advance!

4AC678C2-E1D4-4D39-B221-46D23EA1F6AF.jpeg 4981685E-B989-44B1-B0A5-E180B96A1F59.jpeg C25BD180-D460-4F82-B52D-6AD54A07D843.jpeg 40F2984E-EAE5-4F18-866F-8CF59E063A6D.jpeg A4161115-18C2-4B2D-84E2-4B685B6E1E17.jpeg
 

ATpro

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
321
Location
ALABAMA
Yep, a fire went through there. The pine trees will be OK, need to watch the hardwoods for fire damage. Doesn't look like the fire was to hot so you may be ok with the hardwoods. What kills hardwoods in a forest fire is the fire gets hot enough to boil the sap in the trunk of the tree. A slow back burn where the the fire stays around the trunk very long even throw the fire doesn't seen that hot will kill hardwoods faster than a hot fire that moves fast through a forest. The danger with fire and hardwoods is how hot you get the sap wood, to hot and you will kill the tree.

We always setup a burn on hardwoods with the wind so fire time around the trunk would be as short as possible. We would strip-head a fire so that portion of the individual line of fire couldn't develop to a high energy fire. If we wanted to clear hardwoods out of a stand of pines we would run a back burn during the day, with low humidity, then head fire the plot to finish the fire. This way you would extend the fire time around the hardwood and get the sap to boil and kill the tree.
 

GlennVB

New Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2021
Messages
4
Location
Hungary
Thank you for the reactions and sorry for the dubble post...

I totally agree that it looks like fire damage, for the pines and the fencingpoles it is probably true. The strange thing is that some of the trees that have it are very young and are surrounded by much older ones. Wouldn’t the older ones need to have damage as well?

I will mark the trees that have it, to know for sure it does not somehow spread. But probably you guys are right and I have been making myself crazy over it.

Thanks all
 

ATpro

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
321
Location
ALABAMA
Wouldn’t the older ones need to have damage as well?
Not necessarily, depends on the fuel load that was around each tree. Then again with any fire, the fire has more affect on younger trees than older trees. With smaller trees the fire can damage a higher % of the tree, and with the stem (trunk) being smaller its easier for the fire to damage them.

If you will notice in one of your picture the ground is blacken where the fire went through. The fire was hot and slow enough to burn all the fuel load on the ground. This could be the reason the smaller trees suffered more damage. The fire hasn't been more than a season or two since the fire went through.
 

old CB

ArboristSite Guru
Joined
Jul 4, 2011
Messages
920
Location
CO
Yeah, I was going to guess within the last 10 yrs. That char will hang on for a while. I can find trees in my area with char from a fire that went thru in 1989 (not a lot, but there are some).
 
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ATpro

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
321
Location
ALABAMA
Normally if the ground looks charred around here the burn isn't more than a year or so old. With rain and the foliage cycle the black ground doesn't stay around long. I am surprised there isn't more litter on the ground. I'm guessing there are other things involved like climate in your area.
 
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