Clearcuts & sustainability

Richard Scott rscott at
Fri Oct 16 09:03:59 EST 1998


Good grief, did I screw up!  Time to get the old noggin readjusted!

Although I had the name right, except for the typo that added the "r"
in Fomes, everything I said was about Armillaria ostoyae, not annosus.
It's not like I didn't know better, just got my head screwed on wrong
that morning.  Kind of like my Dad calling me by my brother's name--at
least I think he could tell us apart.  Sorry about the confusion.

Sounds like the mushrooming must be pretty good up around Timothy at
this time of yr.  Never got into mushrooms, myself, since to me they
are kind of like eating tofu which never impressed me much.  Did
collect a  lot of shaggy manes in Montana since they were so easy to
identify and so abundant.

Thanks for your input.  What was going on was I was getting ready for
a debate on Measure 64.  Fortunately, the subject of sustainability
never came up.  I say fortunately because you were the only one with
any input, after I called & emailed various professors like Jerry
Franklin & also tried to contact extension agents for 2 days.  I
suspect the sustainability question is an unfounded assertion that
sounds good but has never been proven.  I know it has no widespread
acceptance by foresters.  The debate will be on Town Hall Sunday at 6,
Ch. 2.  The interesting thing about the show, was that I think less of
it now than I did before, as their objective is to generate more heat
than light about the issue.

Dick Scott

dwheeler at wrote:

>In article <BYnV1.1897$Gq.2648 at>,
>  rscott at wrote:
>> Dan,
>> Thanks for your reply.  It seems your people & my people need to get
>> together, because even though I have worked in DF forests for over 20
>> yrs., I have never heard of a Formes annotosum.  Probably the
>> mycologists & pathologists just don't talk frequently enough.
>That good! There is no Formes that I know of.

>And my reference to Fomes annotosum was incorrect also. It should have been
>Fomes annosum.

>David Aurora in Mushrooms Demystified, notes that Heterobasidion annosum is
>the same as Fomes annosus.

>I found some whoppers nearly 3-feet across today on old-growth Douglas fir and
>Western hemlock near Timothy Lake.

>> I have heard of a disease we used to call Fomes annosus (now
>> Heterobasidion annosus), which I suspect is the same thing--scientific
>> names do change and perhaps that's what has happened.  Annosus, in the
>> experience of foresters & pathologists, however, is not as infective
>> as you suggest and healthy trees can often overcome an attack. It does
>> spread by root contact and by spores which are released from
>> honey-colored mushrooms.

>Uh, no. This seems to close to Honey mushroom (Armillariella mellea), which
>usually attacks hardwoods, not softwoods. Heterobasidion annosum is not honey-

>  Although large stumps do take a long time to
>> decay, I have never read any literature that suggests infection by
>> annosus slows the decay process.
>Try culativating it. It growing remarkably slowly. In The Redesigned Forest,
>Chris Maser suggested an infected log cable of reinfecting young trees several
>hundred years in the future, especially if the log is buried during the course
>of logging operations.

>> Species vary in their susceptibility and the seriousness of the
>> disease varies by region.

>Absolutely. And the colder it gets, as in higher elevations, the slower this
>fungus grows. That increases the time it can infect growing trees nearby.

>  Furthermore, the disease has different
>> strains, each of which is associated with a specific species of tree,
>> so that the strain that infects pines is not effective at attacking
>> DF.
>If this is true, it has not been reported in any of my mushroom books.

>> Treatment for annosus infected stands depends on whether the stand is
>> east or west of the Cascade crest, as it is more serious on the east
>> side.  I have never heard of a hot burn being employed to treat an
>> infection, although I would not be surprised if it had been tried.  I
>> also would not expect it to work, because one would have to almost
>> totally consume the stump and roots, which never happens in fresh cut
>> stumps--only old stumps which have had a year or more to dry out in a
>> dry climate.
>> Since the different strains are associated with different tree
>> species, we can manage the disease simply by switching conifer
>> species, rather than going to hardwoods.
>> Again, thanks for your reply.  See you at Tree School?
>> Dick Scott
>> Estacada
>> dwheeler at wrote:
>> >In article <nS9V1.1634$Gq.1807 at>,
>> >  rscott at wrote:
>> >> Can someone give me a brief rundown on the environmentalists' claim
>> >> that clearcutting is an unsustainable practice?  I would  like to know
>> >> the reasoning and the factual basis for this assertion.
>> >>
>> >> Dick Scott
>> >>
>> >I don't know that I can give a claim from an environmentalists' viewpoint,
>> >but certainly I can give one from a mycological view: clearcutting provides a
>> >lot of material for growing Fomes annotosum, aka Douglas fir root rot. Once
>> >infected, wood degrades much more slowly than with other saprophytic fungi.
>> >Degradation of a single 3 foot diameter chunk of wood may take centuries (in
>> >other words, no one really knows how long). Until the chunk has become
>> >_totally_ consumed, it acts as a potential inoculation site to infect nearby
>> >growing conifers, and eventually kills them. Almost all conifers are
>> >susceptible to this fungus.
>[snip for sake of brevity]

>Daniel B. Wheeler

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