Clearcuts & sustainability

dwheeler at dwheeler at
Tue Oct 20 00:28:04 EST 1998

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.
> I have heard of a disease we used to call Fomes annosus (now
> Heterobasidion annosus),

Close, but no cigar. The correct name now, according to David Aurora in
Mushrooms Demystified, is Heterobasidion annosum, not annosus. (Isn't this
silly ;)

 which I suspect is the same thing--scientific
> names do change and perhaps that's what has happened.

Oh my aching head, do they change!

  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.  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.

A article in The Oregonian within the last 2 years suggests otherwise. And my
own experience is that this is one of the most invasive fungi anytime logging
is done. While it is especially virulent on DF, it also infects Western
hemlock, Sitka spruce, some pines, and a few other conifers. The sporocarps
remain viable for years, producing small increments in the original fruiting
body, and produce prodigious quantities of spores for at least 8 months of
the year.

> Species vary in their susceptibility and the seriousness of the
> disease varies by region.  Furthermore, the disease has different
> strains, each of which is associated with a specific species of tree,
> so that the strain

If there is a separate straing specific to pine, I am unaware of it. Citation

 that infects pines is not effective at attacking
> DF.
> 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.

While it may be a more serious threat on the east side, it persists longer on
the west side because the fungus grows much more slowly in wet climates.

  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.

At Paul Bishop's Jones Creek Tree Farm, the consulting forester has said he
must replant his infected area to resistant trees, such as Easter Red oak
(Quercus palustra) and hybrid cottonwood. So far, the oak hasn't been coming
up: probably because of abundant squirrel population. And Paul doesn't care
for cottonwood: he's trying to get rid of the hybrids he planted about 10
years ago, which are now about 14 inches in diameter. One of these came down
during last year's rime- ice storm, and blocked his driveway for nearly 3

> Again, thanks for your reply.  See you at Tree School?
I'll try to make it, Dick.

Daniel B. Wheeler

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