Fabio Peregos beech tree is growing more vigorous than ever…
Fabio Perego, an enterpreneur from Venegono superiore near Varese, who, in 2013,had concerns about his splendid old purple beech tree (Fagus sylvatica Atropurpurea group) located in his garden. It was significant damage in the lower trunk, with the roots infected with the plant pathogen honey fungus (Armillaria mellea). Moreover, a Fomitiporia punctata (syn. Phellinus punctatus)) was clearly visible in the crown. Due to the close proximity of the tree to the main road, Perego was obliged to check the stability. The tests for pulling test showed a safety value of only 90%, so the beech tree had become a severe risk and crown reduction appeared necessary. Mycosolutions was contacted.
Firstly, the fruiting bodies were analyzed in the lab by a complex process using Trichoderma-strains, where a strain with a highly antagonistic potential was selected. In addition to being able to suppress and restrain the growth of the honey fungus, the right strain can also increase nutrient availability to trees, such as phosphor and iron.
In the first treatment the Trichoderma granules were mixed with compost and uniformly dispersed in a 3 to 5 cm layer around the trunk and were well moistened. The tree owner continued the treatments by sprinkling the area and the trunk with the spore suspension every 3 to 4 weeks.
Three years later, in autumn 2017, no fruiting bodies could be found at the roots and the wounds at the trunk had been overgrown. The fire sponge (F. punctata) had disappeared and the crown showed significantly more foliage. Another tensile test revealed an astonishing safety factor of 110%, so the tree was considered as stable. Growth of the shoots suggests a high viability of the beech due to the re-established microbial balance in the soil. As a result, the beech tree showed positive signs of improvement against the pathogens. Recent studies also show that the suppressive effect of Trichoderma in the soil inhibits the growth of decay causing fungi while also promoting the development of new roots.
The attention and the regularity of the treatments by Fabio Perego were most crucial to the recovery of the beech tree. If a pathogen is able to spread undisturbed for years, the likelihood of infection is high and intense treatment ishighly advisable in order to surpress the decay-causing and/or pathogenic fungi while also restricting further spread to healty trees.