June 15, 2009

Black Knot Fungus

When we bought our house three years ago one of the things we liked most about the property was the abundance of mature trees on a city lot. The tree closest to the front window was beautiful - about 30 feet tall with large curly branches full of leaves. We had no idea what it was. I noticed some black "knots" in a few places but figured it was a natural part of the tree. Each year the number of knots increased and the number of leaves dramatically decreased. Last year Hubby put in a shade perennial garden in the front where all the trees provided so much shade that grass didn't grow. Not so much shade this year - guess it's an all sun garden now. We finally came to the realization the tree is very sick. Today an official arborist came for a house call. Good news - we finally know it's a Chokecherry. Bad news - it has Black Knot fungus. And it's at the point of no return. Bonus bad news - we'll be paying $300 for tree and stump removal. Bonus good news - a trip to the nursery to buy a new tree (or is that super bonus bad news because I doubt new trees, at least the ones of any substantial size, are less than a gigillion dollars).

Here's the tree in the background with Sassy's volleyball team last September - lots of bare branches but some leaves.

And today - I think I can count all the leaves on both hands.

The offending fungus close up -

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