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Meripilus on large beech

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Good morning,


I was asked by a local college to have a look at one of their large purple beech. The tree has multiple outbreaks of both emerging and mature meripilus.

The tree itself is getting on for 25-30M and has a DBH of 1500mm. It’s an amazing tree with some interesting history attached to it. American soldiers based on site during the 2nd world war have etched some names on the lower main stem. There also photos from the 1920s in which the tree takes centre stage.

The target areas are some grade 2 listed walls that surround some ornamental gardens, a rear drive into the college,2x mature purple beech, footpaths and a well used track for the grounds staff. It’s not well used by the students, however they do very rarely sit under the tree.


Another mature purple beech in the immediate area succumbed to the same fungi a couple of years back and landed across the back drive.


Ideally, I would recommend some remedial action in order to retain the tree in some form - possibly a heavy reduction. I don’t know in this instance, whether an application of mulching would be beneficial?.

Or, should it just be removed and maybe left as a monolith?

Any help would be really appreciated.IMG_5360.jpgIMG_5361.jpgIMG_5365.jpgIMG_5364.jpg


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Why take a risk ? beech rots very quickly, I would fell, I’ve seen these fall over in a very light wind with less fruiting bodies showing at the base

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As in college I would not leave it standing if they have had one fail earlier. 

Did fell beech about 3 years ago which had meripilus for over 8 years and no signs of die back. When stump was ground out very little rot to see. 

Word any advice you give puts the decision in colleges hands. 

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If they want to retain it you would need to do a root collar excavation with an airspade to check the condition of the underside of the roots. I did one at the beginning of last year for a TPO protected sycamore with merip. The plan was to expose the buttress roots and resistograph them to check extent of decay. The TPO officer was on site during the works. Didn’t need to resi as you could push a trowel into the bottom two thirds of the roots with very little pressure.  There were no canopy symptoms at all presumably as the top of the roots were ok.  It was felled under a five day notice. 


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