The intrigue of old trees

Stopping off for a quick break during work today, I parked under an oak that has always been of interest to me. Situated in the main car park for a large amenity park, not only is its mere existence intriguing (in many instances, such trees would likely have been removed), but its appearance sparks the imagination – amongst other qustions, what has this tree endured, and what ecological benefits does it provide?

Still clinging on to life, this oak certainly has a lot of amenity value. I am certain that many park users walk by this tree and take notice of it. The rich organic matter pouring out of the base can also be seen, courtesy of fungal (and insect) decomposition.

As a matter of fact, this little critter could be seen fruiting within the tree itself during the summer.

Can you see it? Look towards the centre of the image.
Here we can see a tiny Fistulina hepatica has developed. I have seen such tiny sporophores of this species a few times – such an interesting fungus, morphologically-speaking.


The intrigue of old trees

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