A Giant Warning Sign

I’ve seen warning signs of impending danger from trees in many forms. My years contracting as a climbing arborist have given me the experience required for tree surveying and assessing the risks. I am able to spot the risks and can advise on whether a tree should be rescued or should be removed.

The Giant Polypore

One warning sign is the presence of Giant Polypore (Meripilus giganteus), as shown in the images below. As the name suggests, this is a very large poly-pore fungus. It appears in large clumps on stumps and at the base of broad-leaf trees. Fruiting bodies of the fungus can appear some distance away from the trunk, growing on the roots. The fungus is easily recognisable due to its sheer size. It is usually found on beech trees but also affects oak, elm and pines and is a warning sign that could indicate internal decay. 

Tree failure

A warning sign to look out for is trees showing thinning or die-back of the outer crown due to dysfunctional infected roots. Tree failure, like that shown in the photos and video below, are a result of brittle fracture of degraded lateral roots. An expert eye can spot these warning signs before it is too late. I have much experience in visual assessment of trees and have become adept at spotting hazards and potential risk. When a tree like this falls due to its failing structure, it can cause massive damage to the surrounding property and can also cause serious injury. These pictures show examples of such tree failure, the destruction of which can be prevented.

Giant Polypore fungus

Large clumps on the stump and at the base of a broad-leaf tree.

Result of Decay

Decay due to dysfunctional infected roots and resulting in thinning or die-back of the outer crown.

Tree Failure

Tree failure as a result of brittle fracture of degraded lateral roots.

Internal Decay

However, it is not always possible to see if a tree is suffering from internal decay from the outside. If there is any suspicion of internal decay, it is strongly advised that an internal decay survey is performed. With this survey, I use specialised tools to determine the severity of the decay of a tree. A ‘Resitograph’ is used to check the strength of the wood, with that, I am able to determine the integrity of its structure. For larger and protected trees, a Sonic Tomograph can provide detailed information about the inside of the tree. I apply Quantified Tree Risk Assesment methodology early to assess risk and can recommend action to reduce the risk of catastrophic tree failure to an acceptable level.

If the warning signs are visible, don’t ignore them! The destruction in the photos seen above is preventable. Inquire with me today for expert opinion on how to deal a Giant Polypore infestation.