Chicken of the Woods Laetiporus sulphureus
The fungus fruits from May – September (annually).
This fungus is generally found on living trees, normally on the main stem or stem base, it is rarely found on the roots.
It’s hosts are Oak, Robinia, and other broad leaves in particular those that have a coloured heartwood. It is very rarely seen on conifers.
The fungus can be easily spotted as large bright sulphure yellow fan shaped brackets – 10-40 cm across. As the brackets age, there colour resembles curd cheese. The brackets tend to grow in overlapping groups.
The brackets spore powder is white, smelling aromatic when young and of urine when old.
The fungus causes the wood to become brittle and eventually turning to powder. The fungus creates creamy white mycelium sheets that fill the cracks between the brown cubes of the decayed wood. This type of decay is known as brown rot. The fungus attacks the heart wood.
A tree infected with this fungus should be assessed by a suitably qualified person, It is highly possible a detailed inspection would be required to establish the extent of decay. This can be achieved using a sonic tomography machine.