Chicken of the woods?

About five weeks ago I was driving along the bottom of the Ewden Valley when I caught sight of a big bracket fungus growing eight or nine feet up the trunk of a wild cherry or gean (Prunus avium). I returned later in the week with my camera, but as the fungus was a few feet above my head and it was quite dark under the canopy of trees my photos didn’t turn out very good. I intended to come back with a step-ladder and take some better pictures but for whatever reason I didn’t get back again until yesterday. Over the last month the fungus has degraded somewhat. It’s sadly no longer the fresh specimen it was at the end of May. It has a not-unpleasant, cheesy sort of smell to it. The big brackets were more or less a foot wide.

A month ago the fungus was quite yellow (at least it was below, which was all I could see of it), and my first thought was that it was chicken of the woods (Laetiporus sulphureus). I still think this may be the case, but I’m not so sure. When am I ever sure? Maybe it’s something like Inonotus cuticularis? Listen - dear reader, if you are able to shed any light on this matter I would greatly appreciate it! (Just bear in mind that the fungus is past its best and is starting to look a bit ropey.)

This is the best of the photos I took when I first discovered the fungus five weeks ago.

This is the host tree: one very tall cherry. Its lower branches are dead, but it’s uppermost branches are still leafy. There is a big, old wound on the stem just below the fungus, and the fungus itself grows from an old wound. A shiny new tag identifies it as ‘0852’. 0852 isn’t a brill tree.

Is this weird? It’s a little weird, right?


Posted in Pests and diseases










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