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A bracket fungus is a fruiting body that sticks out from the trunk of a tree like a shelf. They can be many colours & some look very beautiful.  Unfortunately, there is nothing you can treat a tree with once it has bracket fungus & the chances of structural failure becomes more likely as time goes by.

The Australian National Botanic Gardens website says –

“The heartwood is dead wood, with the living tissue confined to a relatively thin skin under the bark. As long as the fungus is not harming that living skin the tree can go on living quite happily. In fact, there are numerous old, healthy, hollowed-out trees in existence. Moreover, an empty cylinder (such as a hollowed trunk) can resist some stresses better than a solid cylinder (such as a solid trunk). If you’re a possum or a parrot, then you’d probably look very favourably on that fungus because it is helping to create potential  nesting hollows.”

A street or park tree with this fungus can still continue to live for many years, but there is a risk that it will fall.  An Arborist said to me, “Bracket fungus usually means that there is decaying wood. Near a home or building, utility line, place where people function – it should go.” 

I found this bracket fungus a while ago. Unfortunately I didn’t photograph it before someone tried to remove it. It is about 18cms (7 inches) across & stuck out from the tree at least the same distance. It looked like a half plate wedged into the trunk. Now about 3 chunks have been snapped off exposing the inside of the fungus. The outside is hard & dry to touch. The exposed underside is slightly moist & can be dented with a fingernail.


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