A Lot of Rot Can Be a Good Thing…or Not!

Friday, September 14th 2018

Part of the checks taking place on the reserve are on some of the older Ash trees in the semi-natural woodland area of Risedale Beck.  There are some trees in this woodland corridor which are veterans and show how trees cope with rotting hardwood.  The Ash tree below is one that has featured on the blog before but we got a surprise when checking this one.

Deep in the recesses of the hollow bole of the tree we detected movement.  Initially we thought it might be a mouse or vole, but once we shone a light in there it became clear that a Toad had taken up residence.  Conditions here would be ideal for an amphibian with it being cool and damp and a plentiful supply of food. 

Not so good was finding the sudden surge in fruiting bodies on this rotting stump further along the beck.  These look like Honey Fungus which is one that can cause severe rot in trees and which may contribute to the problems caused by the Ash Dieback disease.

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