Rigidoporus ulmarius deep within a basal cavity

It’s odd. Twice, within the space of seven days, have I found a poplar (Populus sp.) cavity to be host to some Rigidoporus ulmarius sporophores. The last time it was slightly more overt, though in this case it really was a case of having to look. This poplar is by quite a busy residential junction, and given its poor condition around the base (from Sesia apiformis exit holes, general mechanical damage of roots and the butt, and the fungal decay – perhaps all are associated), one would perhaps reasonably expect for there to be a form of risk management involved with this tree’s future.

Below are some photos that I think give a good indication of the situation, and why the fungal decay was not necessarily entirely discernible from the outside.

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Here sits the poplar (Populus x canadensis), next to both some residential properties and a public highway (walkway and roundabout).
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On the northern side, we can spot some damage to the base of the tree. A surface root has been injured by mechanical means, and there is a lot of damage to the lower stem.
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Peering in closer, the damage becomes more evident. We can also see a small cavity.
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Inside that cavity, this little guy is growing. Hiding from sight – the cheek!
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On no – wait – there’s two! Both sporophores were very fresh and very moist as a result. My blade cut cleanly through a small tangential cross-section of the larger one. The bracket is perhaps drawing moisture out from the tree to create conditions right for mycelial advance (it is a brown rot, and thus dries the wood).
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The smaller of the two sits just below. We can also see the underside of the larger sporophore.
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Looking up into the tree (the two brackets are below) is rather interesting. We can see many more sporophores forming of varying sizes, and a lot of decaying wood.
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Rigidoporus ulmarius deep within a basal cavity

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