The fruiting bodies of fungi may be present
for only a few days or for many years. Sporophores or fungus fruit bodies on
wounds and old branch stubs and on roots do indicate decayed wood. But, every
sporophore does not mean that a large column of decayed wood is present. This
point about sporophores has been greatly over used. Some sporophores are
associated with very small amounts of decayed wood. The mushroom-type of fruit
body usually does not last long on a tree. Yet some of the decay-causing fungi
that produce such sporophores do cause serious tree problems. The best example
is the shoestring mushroom, or Armillaria mellea. It usually fruits
late in the growing season and is associated with symplastless roots. Another
type of sporophore has a shelf-like structure. Many of the shelf fungi are
called conks. Some may persist on a tree for over 15, or even 20 years. And,
they may weigh over 20 or 30 pounds. The artist conk is one that does grow to
a great size. Removing the sporophores will not stop, or even stall, the
spread of decay. Just because there are no sporophores on a wound does not
mean that there is no decayed wood. On some trees it is necessary to clear
away the organic matter about the base of the tree to find the sporophores.
Fungi that cause root rots may form sporophores under the leaf litter at the
tree base. Check under vines and other plants that may grow about the base of
trees. Important notes: In a tree three situation, fungi diversity
plays a key role in system health while CWD provides the substrate for many.
Fungi is the base of the food web.
People who think all fungi are bad should go without wine, cheese and bread for
starters. Predisposition plays a key role in the understanding of the
successions of microorganisms. In spite of abiotic destructive forces
and biotic agents such as insects, bacteria, and fungi, humans still rank as
the major destructive agent for trees in forests and cities. Ignorance of tree
biology is a major cause of this.
ARMILLARIA ROOT ROTS, PREDISPOSITION AND POOR SORAUER, SHIGO, 2000
A NEW TREE BIOLOGY, SHIGO, 1986
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