Chicken of the woods, sulphur polypore.
Cherry, oak, sweet chestnut, willow, yew (likely a sub-species).
Beech, tree of heaven, and other broad-leaved species.
Found on the stem of the tree through into the scaffold crown structure – be certain to look for fragments of this fungus at the base of the tree, during autumn and winter.
Annual. Soft and fleshy. Exudes water when fresh and moist. Can become quite large. Emerges as a vanilla-white mass before developing into a frond-like structure (usually abundant splaying fronds but sometimes singular – may be observed as shelves). As fronds / shelves develop, they become a yellow-orange, with orange colourations becoming more pronounced as the bracket matures. Pore surface light yellow. Flesh yellow. Can bleach a chalky-white in senescence and then often crumbles. Fragments may also remain attached to the tree. Thick whitish mycelial sheets persist within the wood, between growth rings and rays.
Attributed to a cubical brown rot of the central wood (heartwood). No research has been undertaken on the pathogenicity of this fungus. Presence indicative of localised decay or wider decay. Wood density and strength may be quickly reduced though visible decay tends to develop slowly. Can cause hollowing and stem failure by way of brittle fracture. Investigations in to hollowing may be required, where targets exist. Prevalence potentially underestimated due to a general lack of (ephemeral) fructification.