JF Tree Specialist Blog A place to share knowledge and vision

Principle decay causing fungi in trees (part 1 of 8)

Phaeolus schweinitzii (Pine Dye Polypore)

Phaeolus schweinitziipine dye polypore

 

 

 

Hosts

  • Various conifers esp. Pinus spp.

Significance

  • Root, butt and heartwood decay fungus
  • Decay begins in the roots where a primary infection by Armillaria spp. appears to pave the way for colonisation
  • A brown cubical rot develops in the heartwood
  • The brown rot leads to brittle fracture of the stem or root plate due to severe loss of tensile strength

Ident Features

  • When young upper surface mainly dark brown with a felty covering and golden yellow margin
  • Can be circular fruit body if growing on the ground near a decayed root
  • When growing from the stem or base it can appear as a stalked or stalkless bracket
  • Often seen throughout the year as blackened remains
  • Brown rot decay smells of turps and cracks are lined with a chalky or fluffy coating of yellowish or creamy white mycelium

 

 

Ustulina deusta

Ustulina deusta

Hosts

  • Fagus, Tilia, Carpinus betulus, Acer platanoides and Aesculus hippocastanum

 

Significance

  • Worldwide distribution esp. urban on living trees
  • In top three for wind throw and snap
  • Root, butt and heartwood decay fungus
  • Decay begins after mechanical damage in basal area, roots or root contact
  • Early decay in central part of roots and lower stem, asymptomatic
  • White rot and soft rot – digesting cellulose and leaving lignified parts intact. Brittle, ceramic like fracture
  • Difficult to detect by ultrasound and micro-drills

 

Ident Features

  • Black charcoal fruit bodies, larger crusty lobes distinguish from Hypoxylon
  • Flat disc structure when sexual
  • Recognition by grey zone lines bet. fungal genotypes, or compartmentalization

 

 

Meripilus giganteus (Black staining or Giant Polypore)

meriplus-giganteus

Hosts

  • Mainly Fagus, also Quercus, Platanus and Araucaria

 

Significance

  • In top three for wind throw and snap
  • Root, butt and heartwood decay fungus
  • Decay in central parts and underside of roots, tree may be asymptomatic in crown and above ground
  • White rot and soft rot mode in cases, selective delignification of cellulose and degrading pectin (which holds cells together), causes brittle fracture
  • Facture across grain caused by soft rot
  • A serious decay because of loss of mechanical support, esp. Fagus

 

Ident Features

  • Overlapping fronds which brownish-yellow to chestnut-yellow when fresh turning to tough dark brown when old
  • Surface rough and underside whitish turning lead colour on bruising (differentiating from similar fungi eg. Grifola frondosa)
  • Recognition by grey zone lines bet. fungal genotypes, or compartmentalization

 

 

Ganoderma adspersum/applanatum

Adspersum

Adspersum

Ganoderma adspersum - applanatum

Applanatum

 

 

 

Hosts

  • Common on broadleave esp Fagus, occ. conifers

 

Significance

  • In top three for wind throw and snap
  • Selective delignification esp. rays leaving white spongy fibrous mass
  • Can cause radial cracking
  • Bottle butt

 

Ident Features

  • Hoof shaped persistent bracket
  • Thick crust, thick flesh layer compared with spore tube layer
  • Slightly thinner crust in G. applanatum
  • Underside whitish marked when touched
  • Occ. White band bet. growth zones

 

 

Grifola umbellata/frondosa (Hen of the Woods)

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 10.50.32

Hosts

  • Quercus spp

Significance

  • White rot, with soft rot in early decay
  • Loss of tensile strength
  • Decay in central root plate and stem base

 

Ident Features

  •  Lobed fan like frond, intricately recurved
  • Broaden at tips
  • Forms dense tufts
  • Grey brown upper, white margin
  • Under surface white
  • Does not bruise dark
  • Mousey odour
  • G. umbulata – branches from origin; G. frondosa- branches on stalk, yellower

 

PART 2 OF 8 >>

Drop a comment