Another visit to Pseudoinonotus dryadeus

You probably think I’m head-over-heels about this fungus, considering this is the third time I’m writing about Pseudoinonotus dryadeus in four days. To be honest, you’re not wrong! But who doesn’t get awestruck by wood-decay fungi?

I had the opportunity to re-visit a very large oak that – earlier in the year – I had noticed was colonised by this fungus. The below pictures were taken during August 2015 and early in the morning (around 9AM). Perhaps (in reference to the time of day) this is why the bracket was guttating, though I admit that my knowledge on guttation of fungi is severely limited (though this short article explains it quite nicely).

A nice side-on profile of the fungus shows its striking and possibly unmistakeable presence.
Water droplets can be seen in abundance upon its surface, whilst lightly-coloured spores can be seen beneath.
Showing the bracket is relation to the size of the butt provides a sense of scale – the bracket must be a good 20-25cm across
A lean can be seen on the host oak, though whether this is due to the decay or previous environmental factors (before the properties were built around it) is open to debate. The tarmac around the entirety of its butt may perhaps have lead to some roots being damaged or severed, however.

Today, during the afternoon, I took the below photos. Unlike the previous two posts on Pseudoinonotus dryadeus, this bracket was still very reminiscent of its former self, with very little algal growth atop and in a very early state of decomposition. I suspect the surroundings to the host oak will have played a role in this.

Using the same profile as before, we can see how the bracket has changed in appearance over the course of four and a half months.
Removing a small section of the bracket, an insight into the inner workings of the bracket can be achieved. Note what appears to be spore accumulation below, though mycelium also appears to be present.
Buttressing can be seen all around the butt – this is a tell-tale sign of decay by this fungus.
Without its foliage, the oak’s architecture can be assessed. There are many large wounds upon the main stem – one around 3m up from the base was easily 30cm in diameter. Perhaps old pruning wounds from construction, or historic storm damage.

I think it’s always good to look at and learn to identify wood-decay fungi brackets in their ‘active’ form, as well as their decaying form. After all, if we come across a tree in winter and notice brackets around its base, an accurate diagnosis (or even just a provisional diagnosis) may be very important if access to the tree is limited, or if its condition is in serious question.

That’s all I have for Pseudoinonotus dryadeus at the moment – I promise. Now take a sigh of relief, have a drink, and enjoy the upcoming new year (and / or my blog posts before then)!

Another visit to Pseudoinonotus dryadeus

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