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Principle decay causing fungi in trees (part 2 of 8)

Phellinus igniarius (Grey Fire Bracket)

Grey Fire Bracket

Hosts

  • Salix, Betula spp. some other broadleaves

Significance

  • Soft textured White rot
  • Yellowish-green, dark discoloration zone
  • Decay in main stem
  • Fracture if extensive

Ident Features

  • Hard, woody, hoof shaped bracket
  • Greyish upper surface
  • Fawn growing edge
  • Perennial

 

 

Daedalea quercina (Maze Gill)

Maze Gill

Hosts

  • Fagus sylvatica, Quercus robur, Castanea sativa

Significance

  • Intense brown rot
  • Brittle fracture
  • Decay confined to dead branches, stumps
  • Amenity planting – safety hazard in dead branches Quercus
  • Ancient/old woodland indicator

Ident Features

  • Hard, leathery texture
  • Pale greyish-brown upper surface, flat and smooth, concentric zones
  • Irregularly elongated radial pores (gills)
  • Pore maze-like effect
  • Perennial, persistent

 

 

Bjerkandera adusta (Smoky Polypore)

Smoky Polypore

Hosts

  • Fagus sylvatica, Carpinus betulus, other broadleaves

Significance

  • Spongy white rot
  • Lignin and cellulose decay
  • Brittle fracture
  • Decay develops in sapwood. pruning wounds and broken branches
  • Limited decay but can kill cambium leading to canker-rot
  • Causes breakage of large limbs (300mm) in F. sylvatica, typically following beech bark disease
  • Presence requires detailed inspection

Ident Features

  • Small, thin, leathery brackets
  • Dense tiers
  • Flexible wavy folds
  • Pale brown-grey, off white upper, small hairs
  • Lower surface – v. small pores, white becoming ashen with age
  • Test – tear bracket to reveal blackish jelly layer separating greyish-white flesh of spore tubes

 

 

 

Collybia fusipes (Spindle Shank)

Collybia fusipesSpindle Shank

Hosts

  • Quercus robur, Q. petraea

 

Significance

  • Extensive root decay, rarely extends above ground
  • Unknown history of root failure, but impairs root to cause crown dieback

 

Ident Features

  • Toadstools in small clusters
  • Reddish-brown cap, liver coloured when wet
  • Pale tan and crack with age
  • Grooved stems, thick at mid, taper to attachment
  • Gills whitish when young, darken later
  • Differs from Armillaria as no ring on stem

 

 

Fomes fomentarius (Tinder Fungus)

Tinder Fungus

Hosts

  • Fagus sylvatica, Betula spp. (in North)

Significance

  • Simultaneous white rot
  • Enters via injury/broken branches
  • Invades sapwood, ripewood and non durable heartwood, occassionally cambium
  • Lignin and cellulose decay
  • Brittle fracture
  • Rapid decay, large trees sustain this

 

Ident Features

  • Hoof shaped on Betula spp., resembles G. adspersum on Fagus
  • Upper-white to dark grey, hard crust, concentric zones
  • Lower-initially white turning rusty brown during year
  • Flesh-buff, woolly texture
  • Perennial

 

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