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.

Here sits the poplar (Populus x canadensis), next to both some residential properties and a public highway (walkway and roundabout).
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.
Peering in closer, the damage becomes more evident. We can also see a small cavity.
Inside that cavity, this little guy is growing. Hiding from sight – the cheek!
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).
The smaller of the two sits just below. We can also see the underside of the larger sporophore.
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.
Rigidoporus ulmarius deep within a basal cavity

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