These interesting-looking, almost attractive projections from the tree have a lovely name in the common vernacular ~ Artist’s Bracket. They’re so named because the material is firm enough for artists to etch pictures into the white pore side, which then bruises brown; these creations can last a remarkably long time when dried.
Conks, despite their interesting appearance and artistic name, are in fact a fungus. They are a wood-decay fungus, so if you see them on your tree, as pictured here, it’s not good news for the tree. Conks like this are an indication of root rot or root decay. By the time they show up on the outside of your tree, it means there’s been considerable damage that’s taken place inside the tree ~ in our area usually in the roots.
This particular variety of conk ~ Ganoderma applanatum ~ is the most common one in our region by far. They’ll be found near the root flare of the trunk. If you see them on your tree, call an artist and see if they’re interested in the conks, then give us a call to help you with your tree!
~ Jacquie Wagner, Online Coordinator
~ Rick Walsh, Certified Arborist
~ Photo: Kevin Long, Crew Lead