White fuzz in fractured Hawthorn trunk

Hey y’all ~

The hawthorn in our yard had a bad morning. One of the major trunks fractured and collapsed. The good news is that this isn’t one of my bonsai. But I’d still like to understand it, because I was considering doing some “instant bonsai” air layers from this tree. If the tree has a mortal disease then I’ll likely cancel the air layer plan. There’s not much point starting bonsai that are doomed from day 1.

Anyway, I’m curious what happened here. Is this some sort of infection, or is it just mold taking advantage of wood that was already rotting? Do the black specks mean anything?

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Hi -

Did you check for borer holes?


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It’s hard to tell at this point, unfortunately. The bark kind of exploded when the branch snapped. I didn’t find any obvious holes elsewhere on the trunk.

I later spotted some ants mulling about holes in the fracture point, but I don’t know if they were there previously or if they just took advantage of the opening. I think carpenter ants only work at wood that’s already dead anyway.