Amongst a recently-coppiced area sits a single dead birch

“Why?” was my first question, though I think that was soon answered when I got a little closer. Firstly, the birch is host to Piptoporus betulinus, which has probably colonised throughout most of the structure, and there’s also a large cavity around two-thirds of the way up. Whether it’s actually home to anything now (or in the future, as it’s so absurdly exposed) following the massive and localised disturbance is open to debate, and in strong gusts this birch will likely topple and serve instead as coarse woody debris, thereby losing its value as a nesting site for birds more permanently. Regardless, it was interesting to stumble upon this sight, and perhaps some of you reading this may have other theories as to its retention.

deadbirchpiptoporus1
Coppicing has been undertaken to the hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) surrounding this single dead birch. Beyond this tree, a fair few holly (Ilex aquifolium) have been retained, though that is less surprising.
deadbirchpiptoporus2
Some of the sporophores of the birch polypore (Piptoporus betulinus), upon the stem.
deadbirchpiptoporus3
Just below the branch junction, we can see a large cavity. Perhaps this was why it was retained.

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Amongst a recently-coppiced area sits a single dead birch

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