Ask a Question forum: Something growing on my picnic table!

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Name: virginiarose
Virginia
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virginiarose
Apr 17, 2014 2:08 PM CST
There is something weird growing on my picnic table. I tried pouring ammonia on it in the fall and I tugged on it and it would not budge. Now it is softer and I was able to flick a piece off of there. When I touch it it feels like tree bark.

Thumb of 2014-04-17/virginiarose/9f1a37

Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Plant Identifier
growitall
Apr 17, 2014 2:23 PM CST
Bracket fungus.
http://www.google.ca/search?q=bracket+fungus&client=safari&r...
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Apr 17, 2014 2:53 PM CST
Wow! I have been reading and it seems to like trees but nothing about getting rid of it? Anti-fungus?
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: June
Rosemont, Ont. (Zone 4a)
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JuneOntario
Apr 17, 2014 3:10 PM CST
I think that the wood has started to rot, and even if you kill this fungus, it's likely that more will grow. It might be time to replace the affected parts of the table, and to use wood that has been treated with a preservative. Better to do it now than wait until the wood gives away at an inconvenient moment (like my deck planks).
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
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Dutchlady1
Apr 17, 2014 3:11 PM CST
I agree
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Apr 17, 2014 3:18 PM CST
I agree
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Apr 17, 2014 3:44 PM CST
It has been treated, it is a new picnic table, only a year and a half old from Lowe's. Got it on clearance near the end of 2012.
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Apr 17, 2014 3:56 PM CST
Shrug!
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
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drdawg
Apr 17, 2014 4:03 PM CST
Well, perhaps you got a poorly treated wood table. Looking at the picture, it sure looks like the wood is deteriorating at a rapid rate. It could be the lighting that makes it look like that. But regardless, this is what I would do:

First, scrape off all the fungus you can. Then make up a solution of bleach, and I would use the kind of bleach meant to be used outdoors, and spray on the bleach until the wood and fungus (mushrooms) are complete wetted. Leave it out in the sun to speed up the process of killing the fungus and spores. After drying, scrape/wire brush off the fungus as best you can. I would then re-apply the bleach solution a week later, and then again remove all the bits of mushrooms still there. Wash the wood well and allow to completely dry. Apply two coats of deck sealer to all the wood to prevent re-growth of the fungus and re-apply the deck sealant every year.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
Apr 17, 2014 4:11 PM CST
They don't make treated lumber like they used to...
Porkpal
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Apr 17, 2014 4:14 PM CST
You got that right!
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Apr 17, 2014 4:32 PM CST
You took the words right out of my mouth. I said the same thing to my DH and he did not believe me, I wanted to paint it. I will use the bleach and try to kill that fungus and then scrape the mushrooms off there then I can sand and paint it, I do believe it will hold up longer that way. It is a cheapo, but for 25.00 how can I complain. Also my tree has gotten big (no sun) and potted plants sit out there all the time. My bad....
Thumb of 2014-04-17/virginiarose/3e75bc

Thanks everyone!!! Thumbs up

Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Apr 17, 2014 6:00 PM CST
For twenty-five bucks, you got a good deal. Painting will work just as well.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Apr 17, 2014 6:43 PM CST
Thanks! It will look great. nodding
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
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KentPfeiffer
Apr 18, 2014 7:04 PM CST

Plants Admin

There won't be any long term benefit to scraping it off or, especially, pouring various chemicals on it. The parts you are seeing are just the fruiting bodies. The mycelia, the "vegetative" parts of a fungus, have undoubtedly penetrated throughout the wood. June's suggestion to replace the wood was good advice.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Apr 18, 2014 8:18 PM CST
I beg to differ. I mount tropical plants on 8-10 woods, both hardwood and softwood. Nothing is used that is younger than 25 year old wood and I have documented wood that is well over 100 years old. Needless to say, much of these woods are infested with all kinds of mold, fungi, and algae. Unless the wood is completely rotten, and I mean all they way through, this outdoor bleach solution will kill it. I don't have scientific proof, only have what my eyes tell me. For me, if the wood looks like only the surface is affected, and the "heart" of the wood is solid, I treat the wood with the bleach solution. Anyone who handles old wood can tell whether the wood is a goner, rotted through and through. Most of the mounts that I use are now three or more years old, and (like Obama says) there's not a smidgen of pest/growth on these woods. The one thing I never treat my wood for is lichen. I love to get and use lichen-laden wood.

I cannot tell the depth of infestation this wood has. The picture we have been given is not going to tell the depth of fungi penetration. I say, give it a try if Susan wants to try to save the table.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Plant Identifier Region: Nebraska Forum moderator
Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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KentPfeiffer
Apr 18, 2014 9:30 PM CST

Plants Admin

Have you ever done that with a bracket fungus, Doug? It's not a surface form of rot. The mycelia live within the wood secreting cellulase enzymes to "eat" it from the inside out. The fruiting bodies that can be seen in the pictures are essentially wood that has been dissolved and used to build a new structure by the fungus. With most of the wood actually being lost into the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide during the process, I wouldn't be surprised if the fruiting bodies are more solid than the wood underneath at this point.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Apr 18, 2014 9:34 PM CST
For a $25 table, I'd give the bleach a try.
Porkpal
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Apr 19, 2014 2:13 AM CST
It is definitely worth a try. I think it only a surface thing because I did flick a piece off recently, in the fall it would not budge and that is when I discovered that I had a problem. The table was poorly treated for sure, it was a very wet winter here. This will be an interesting experiment and I hope to report the results back here. Thank you all for your help.
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Apr 19, 2014 6:14 AM CST
I just love experiments! Hurray! Let us know the outcome. It will be both interesting and educational. Be sure to use the "Outdoor" bleach. It has more punch.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

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