Propagating diamond willow

Discussion in 'Plants: Science and Cultivation' started by sgbotsford, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. sgbotsford

    sgbotsford Active Member 10 Years

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    Yes, I know that this isn't a species, but rather a fungal infection that affects several kinds of willows.

    Is it possible to propagate the fungus from willow to willow?

    From the patterns it makes, my suspicion is that it enters through damaged stems, then propagates slowly in the cambium of the host. If so, it would be necessary to transfer a bit of bark and cambium to every site where you you wanted a diamond to form. That's a tough job.

    On the other hand if it's a matter of correct timing, then stripping side branches off nearby willows when the fruiting bodies are dispersing spores it would be far easier.

    I've been able to find out little about his fungus, save it's name, Valsa sordida, and some sources claim that even this is uncertain.

    So far I've found nothing about how it moves from host to host, how it acts in the host, what it's fruiting bodies look like.

    Any leads?
     
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Having had some experience with trying to track down information about it before (and having a chunk of it in my office), I would say that there is very little written about it in published literature. Perhaps the best source on propagation would be indigenous knowledge, if it still exists. I think it would have marketable value as a sustainably-harvested non-timber forest product.
     
  3. sgbotsford

    sgbotsford Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks Daniel.

    That's the conclusion I'm coming to also. I was hoping that someone at some point had looked into this, and that there was an article in some journal that hadn't been indexed for the internet yet.

    I guess I need to start my own research project.
     
  4. sgbotsford

    sgbotsford Active Member 10 Years

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    More info:

    Insects & diseases of Alaskan Forests

    http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5315942.pdf

    p149:
    The term diamond willow refers to distinctly shaped depressions of willow stems caused by the canker fungus Cytospora chrysosperma. Diamond willow is sought after by wood carvers who prize the reddish diamond shaped depressions that develop after fungal infection.

    Bunch of references for that section.

    *****

    http://www.prairieinfusions.com/mushrooms/mushrooms.php?pageid=diamond_willow_fungus

    Dried fungus for sale. They claim it's Trametes suaveolens (L.ex Fries) Fries., Polyporaceae


    ******

    From: http://carverscompanion.com/Ezine/Vol2Issue2/BobGander/DiamondWillow.html

    near the bottom:



    Reference

    H.J. Lutz, "Observation on 'diamond willow,' with Particular Reference to Its Occurrence in Alaska", The American Midland Naturalist 60(1): 176-185, 1958.

    Note:

    Mr. Lutz cites a report by D.V. Baxter and F.H. ("Forest and fungus succession in the Lower Yukon Valley", University of Michigan, School of Forestry and Conservation, Bul. 9. 52 pp.). This report apparently is the only evidence of Valsa sordida being the fungus responsible for forming the diamonds. I would be greatly indebted to anyone who may be able to send me a photocopy of this report. I would also appreciate any other references you may have to the cause of the diamonds.
     

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