White spongy trunk rot

White spongy trunk rot -
  • Latin name: Fomes fomentarius (L.:Fr.) J. Kickx fils
  • French name: Carie blanche spongieuse du tronc
  • Division: Basidiomycota
  • Class: Aphyllophorales





Damage, symptoms and biology

Fomes fomentarius causes decay in both living and dead timber, producing a white rot that is present in both sapwood and heartwood. If fruiting bodies are visible, there is little merchantable heartwood in a tree. The decay extends 2 to 3 m into the heart of the tree.

Other information

This fungus is also called tinder fungus or tinder polypore, due to the ease with which it catches fire.Fungal spread is by airborne spores, and infection occurs through exposed dead wood tissue. Some control might be achieved by minimizing damage to living trees, and through the removal of dead trees bearing sporophores. The fruiting bodies of F. fomentarius might be confused with those of Phellinus igniarius, but the upper surface of the former is smoother, lighter in colour, and more "hoof-shaped," with the pore layer generally at an angle of 900 to the tree stem.

Canadian Forest Service Publications

White spongy trunk rot

Information on host(s)

Main host(s)

Birch, white birch, yellow birch

Secondary host(s)

Alders, balsam poplar, maple, oaks, poplars / aspens / cottonwoods, Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir, willow

  • White spongy trunk rot
    André Carpentier
  • White spongy trunk rot Fruiting bodies on birch
    Eric Allen
  • White spongy trunk rot A cross-section of a F. fomentarius fruiting body on a birch stem in an advanced stage of decay
    Eric Allen
Date modified: