Q There are loads of bumpy orange spots on my tree branches – what are they and what should I do?
A That sounds like coral spot, a nasty fungal infection. It is like the plant version of gangrene, setting in during cold, damp weather. The spots should be pinhead-sized and raised, in a pinky-coral colour. I’m afraid there’s no treatment, so cut off the infected branches and burn them. Don’t put them in the compost, or you risk spreading the infection, and don’t leave them to fester in a pile.
Always prune in dry weather, and cut the branches off at the collar (the thick part at the base of the branch). This is better than leaving a snag (a stub or stump), as the collar heals faster and the snag could be infected without showing outward signs of it.
Also keep an eye on other wood in the garden for signs of dieback, which is an early sign of infection. Damp, dead wood is especially vulnerable – check things like old hazel peasticks.
David Domoney is a Chartered Horticulturalist, Broadcaster, and Author. David has worked with a number of the UK’s leading garden retailers as a plant buyer and strategic consultant. With more than 30 years experience, in horticulture, David is as passionate about plants now as he was when he bought his first plant at a village fete.
We found a stick like this on our nature walk. Is this dangerous to keep inside our classroom?
Hi Nicole. I’d suggest keeping the stick in a sealed jar, and don’t let it get near any other plants. Hope this helps!
I have this and have cut back all branches, however it’s deceloping on the trunk of the tree ?
Can the tree be saved or do I just cut it down ?
I’m sorry to hear your tree has coral spot!
The fungus only grows on dead wood, so if this is definitely what you have then unfortunately there is no way to save the tree.
The only thing you can do it cut back all infected wood, leaving only healthy wood remaining.