Inonotus hispidus on weeping ash

A couple of weeks ago I took a visit to Cambridge, not for the purpose of looking at trees, though nonetheless – as there were trees within the city centre – I couldn’t resist having a glance. Just as well I did, because I spotted a lovely Inonotus hispidus bracket on a weeping ash (Fraxinus excelsior ‘Pendula’).

I’m not quite sure what’s going on here, but there’s some absurd growth form on the main stem(s) – see the bottom part of the photo, and the area around the bracket. Perhaps an old branch tear out where the bracket is? No doubt that sapwood exposure has caused the fungus to colonise.
The red circle shows the position of the bracket in this image. Unfortunately, I could not access the area to get closer shots.
Inonotus hispidus on weeping ash

2 thoughts on “Inonotus hispidus on weeping ash

  1. Jonas says:

    Nice tree, but what do you think the prognosis is for it? Good occlusion and reaction wood around the historic wounds but it looks almost like a vertical hazard beam?? Was it on private ground?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it is private ground (it was in the courtyard of that building you can see behind it). I’d love to look at it again to be honest, as it was such an odd growth form (you may be right about the hazard beam). Unfortunately, as I was out with my girlfriend I only got a relatively quick glance (if I was on my own I’d have done a very thorough inspection out of mere curiosity), though there will no question be some serious issues associated with that decay – principally the significant loss in wood strength, and the fact the decay sits just below a very wide union. I have seen ash with very significant reaction growth around areas where this fungus can be seen to be producing sporophores, and have always seen management as as the best means of action even in spite of such growth.

      In terms of management here therefore, the crown is very ‘thin’ (in the sense it is so wide-spreading and, where there are leaf-bearing branches, they are relatively sparse) that there isn’t a huge amount of drag on it. Further, the target area could include the (very busy) pathways nearby, depending on how the crown fails (if / when it does). Given the amenity value it provides however, and the fact it is quite sheltered by a large plane just behind it (you can see the trunk in the image) and also the buildings nearby, I’d say just close-off the drip line area to the public (perhaps why the gate was locked?) and continue to inspect it every year. I can’t see it going at the base – I’d imagine it’d fail around that region where the bracket is, so would probably pivot from there and fall within the fenced-off area. Maybe justification for a resistograph reading? I wouldn’t trust a PICUS there, as I am sure there’ll be some cracking that’d throw the readings.

      Tricky one – I am glad I am not the one managing it, ha!


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