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P.O. Box 943
Lopez Island, WA 98261
Native to the PNW, Phaeolus schweinitizii is a fungus that feeds on cellulose in the roots and base of several conifer tree species. The fruiting body often grows on the ground at the base of the tree. After the cellulose is consumed, the heartwood of a tree looks brown from the remaining lignin. An infected tree can have live foliage because of the intact sapwood continuing to transport water and nutrients even after the core of the tree rots. Infected trees are more prone to breaking. Schweinitzii usually enters through wounds such as mower damage to roots or the trunk.
Banner photo courtesy of Eugene Beckes