I have been sharing a lot of stuff to do with wood-decay fungi lately, and thought I’d continue with that theme as it’s certainly a field that we need to understand, as arborists. After all, the presence of a fungal sporophore can dramatically alter how we perceive the tree we are looking at, and how we manage it. Plus, they’re damn cool!
In this instance, I came across a hybrid black poplar (Populus x canadensis) colonised by the fungus Rigidoporus ulmarius. However, unlike in most instances, one of the sporophores was within a fairly large cavity. I have seen this sort of thing before with this fungus (on a horse chestnut), though not with such a large sporophore. Therefore, it just goes to show that, when out inspecting trees, we must also check cavities for signs of fungi (beyond just the showcasing of wood decay).
Perhaps a sporophore within a cavity suggests effective compartmentalisation by the barrier zone, though this doesn’t mean the tree is out of the woods. Decay can still be very extensive, and potentially hazardous, if there is a target zone beneath.
And so, as always, here are a good few pictures to look at over a mug of coffee and some music.