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Scientific name: Ganoderma adspersum
Common name: Shelf fungus
Type of decay: White rot
This perennial bracket causes the white rot of the stem base and more rarely the upper stem of broadleaved trees. The brackets appear all year round. It grows up to 60cm across, up to 25cm wide and up to 20cm thick. The upper surface of the bracket consists of a hard dark brown knobbly crust that has concentric ridges. The surface is often covered in a cocoa powder-like spore deposit. There is a white margin on the edge of the bracket leading to a white and lumpy under surface. Spores are fine and white with brown spore powder.
Effects of fungus on tree
Causes white heart rot to the base of the stem and roots of broadleaved trees. Wood becomes soft after decay and causes ductile fractures. Damage to the roots can cause fracturing and subsequent windthrow. Even if the fruiting bodies are not present the host tree can often show signs of ill health from the fungus, such as thin crown and associated die-back, smaller leaves, reduced growth rate, late leaf flush and early leaf fall.
Hosts: Most broadleaf species can be affected by Ganoderma adspersum but it is most commonly found on Beech.