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Archive for June, 2011

These are tiny yellow/orange funger like projections from wet, decaying, barkless wood, in this case poplar. There is just a patch of them coming up. The longest one is 7mm and 2.5 mm thick, and it towers over the very new and immature growth, which at the moment is almost like bristles. The size is not impressive but the texture is tough, resisting efforts to squash it onto a slide.

Link to species notes.

Link to photos of fungi and slime molds 2011.

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This is a fungus that grows on wet wood in Abney, it grows on any wet wood once it the wood gets to a slightly decayed state, but it is unusual elsewhere so I thought I would flag up that it is growing again.

Link to photos of fungus and slome molds 2011.

 

Link to Species notes.

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Rubus fruticosus, the bramble or blackberry plant, is a composite species with hundreds of variations. A quick look at the flower forms shows some of the differences. The petals can be rounded or slim, an enclosed cup or a star, or even swept back petals. The colour can be pinkish or white. The more you look the more variation can be found. It is not just in the flower though. The size and distribution of the thorns or their absence, some plants ramble widely while others can form a dense bush. The size of the fruits is noticeably different; some are barely a collection of pips while others are fully rounded and luscious.

Bramble is a member of the Rose family along with raspberry and cloudberry. The open flowers and ease of getting to them make then perfect for bees, hoverflies and butterflies to feed from.

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Last year a poplar tree had to be felled. It was dying and near to a pathway that meant that it could have fallen across that path and, since people could have been underneath it, it could not be allowed to struggle on. It showed all the signs of fungus damage at the time, but I had not seen any spore producing structures on the tree, maybe they had been beneath the ivy growth. What was revealed by the cross section of the trunk was this…

The colour change in the wood is due to differing amounts of water in the wood. One of the trees defences against fungus damage is to produce a waterproof layer through the wood which attempts to contain the fungus growth, so limit it’s spread. In cross section this looks like a black line. In this photo the black line is more obvious as it marks the difference between the browner wood (wetter) and the lighter wood (dryer). If enough of the wood is blockaded against water the branches and leaves can’t get enough sap up into them to keep the tree alive.

In the vertically split part of the trunk there was a black layer covered by a white layer. This is where the wood split vertically along the line of the defences. I have tried many times to find fungal growth in the layer and it isn’t there, it is composed of what seems to be resinous material that powders whcn scraped.

This photo shows the white layer in the split wood. Just under this is a black layer. It is not sooty, it doesn’t powder onto anything that touches it, it is more like sprayed paint that has dried.

This is the kind of tree reaction that is usually associated with a tree killer like Kretzschmaria deusta, which may not show itself via fruiting bodies for many years. I have found this tree defence triggered by more then just Kretzschmaria. It is evident in a trunk that is now beginning to sprout brackets of Ganoderma. This morning, in the cut logs of this tree, the bark had degraded to the point where honey fungus bootstraps were visible. Maybe this is what triggered the tree defences. Bootstraps vary in shape from round in cross section to this flatter form, but exactly which sort of Honey Fungus can’t be determined until the fruiting bodies emerge.

The bootlaces are black, tough, flexible structures that get their name from looking at times just like old fashioned bootlaces. They are the rizomorphs of Honey Fungus and they can spread underground to infect neighbouring trees. Once infested with honey fungus there is no treatment for the tree.

In Abney dead wood is allowed to stay on the ground and the fungus can feed on this wood. This seems to make the fungus less of a problem then maybe it could be. Living trees do have defences, even if they are not terribly effective they will make the fungus work just that bit harder. Dead wood is easier for the fungus to eat.

Link to Armillaria mellea notes.

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This is one of the bigger inkcaps. The stem can extend to 17cms in the literature, and I have found an unusual 25 cms stem in an old cap. The cap itself is a bullet shape and quite distinctive. The young caps are pale and have brown scales in concentric rows along the side of the unopened cap and a dense group of them in the center. They shrivel as the cap ages, but can persist or be lost with age. The gills mature from the edge towards the center and the outside edge towards the cap side of the gills. They start out as palid and become pink, red brown and then eventually black. As the gills mature the cap greys. The cap does deliquesce (self digest) so can drip spores from the outside rim as it slowly shrinks to a central disc.

This group was growing in the hollow bowl of a poplar stump. The weather was wet and the wood was soft.

Link to species notes.

Link to photos of fungi and sliome molds 2011.

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This is a growth I almost overlooked. I was searching for something else when I came across these cups. They were growing stalkless on a dark grey fibrous surface that covered the wet wood (it was raining at the time). They were translucent, catching the sideways light when I found them. The largest cup was 2 mm across, or there abouts. They started out as neat cups with an inrolled edge. This was lost with age, when they became more irregular.

Link to notes of fungi and slime molds 2011.

Link to species notes.

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A normally inaccesible stand of nettles near the chapel has become available for close inspection due to strimming the edge of the path. On the leaves, and busy feeding, are these caterpillars. They are strikingly back with white spots and orange-ish legs. Worth a look.

Link to photos of Abney in June 2011.

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