White spongy trunk rot
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.
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.