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Marcus B-T

National Meripilus Network

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my only dealing with trying to save a merrip beach was a 35% reduction wich about counted for the die back! tree still fell over and was lucky not to kill any one considering the targets involved...pretty much felled every one ive come up with since and never regretted it either ,although beach are one of my favourite trees the climate and every thing in the southern enviroment is against them...

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Thanks for posting I find the thermal images fascinating.

 

Could the colder line down the stem indicate a crack ?

 

Or would that look different ?

 

 

The cooler areas that are visible up the trunk of this tree are where there are thinner sections in the functional shell or residual wall around the central core of seasoned (dysfunctional) wood.

 

Yes you are right it would be possible to observe a split occurring in this way, but that is not the case with this particular tree.

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my only dealing with trying to save a merrip beach was a 35% reduction wich about counted for the die back! tree still fell over and was lucky not to kill any one considering the targets involved...pretty much felled every one ive come up with since and never regretted it either ,although beach are one of my favourite trees the climate and every thing in the southern enviroment is against them...

 

 

Your example is classic, because the symptom of crown thinning and dieback that you describe is not actually associated with the presence of Meripilus, and just confirms the fact that there was something else wrong with the tree.

 

Unfortunately your subsequent decision to fell every other tree you have observed with Meripilus is characteristic of the naivety of arboriculture as a whole. Likewise the sweeping judgment that beech as a species cannot survive climate change. Such poorly substantiated generalizations should be avoided, because they only serve to cultivate ignorance and do nothing for the expansion of knowledge or understanding…….

 

There is nothing wrong with not being able to find an answer to a problem, but you are selling yourself short by not even trying and throwing away the evidence so no one else can work it out…….

 

Arboriculture is about tree care isn’t it?

 

So why do we spend so much time identifying reasons to take trees down, rather than spending a little more time to find constructive and informed solutions to why trees can be retained?

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Andrew

I sympathise with you and appreciate your comments but ….

 

I (probably like Matty) do not have the facilities/technology at hand to conduct a survey to the depth you obviously do. When asked by a customer to give a call on a Beech with meri I can only give a judgement based on the knowledge I have and the targets round the tree.

 

If I was to say ‘there is a risk of failure but research is ongoing into the degree of risk and the tree should be left until we have a better understanding’ and the tree fell across a main road the following week could I defend my decision?

 

I totally support what you are doing and trying to achieve, the primary reason I joined Arbtalk was to expand my knowledge, but (particularly in a domestic environment) I have to be able to stand by a judgment I give.

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Andrew

I sympathise with you and appreciate your comments but ….

 

I (probably like Matty) do not have the facilities/technology at hand to conduct a survey to the depth you obviously do. When asked by a customer to give a call on a Beech with meri I can only give a judgement based on the knowledge I have and the targets round the tree.

 

If I was to say ‘there is a risk of failure but research is ongoing into the degree of risk and the tree should be left until we have a better understanding’ and the tree fell across a main road the following week could I defend my decision?

 

I totally support what you are doing and trying to achieve, the primary reason I joined Arbtalk was to expand my knowledge, but (particularly in a domestic environment) I have to be able to stand by a judgment I give.

 

:congrats::congrats:

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Andrew

I sympathise with you and appreciate your comments but ….

 

I (probably like Matty) do not have the facilities/technology at hand to conduct a survey to the depth you obviously do. When asked by a customer to give a call on a Beech with meri I can only give a judgement based on the knowledge I have and the targets round the tree.

 

If I was to say ‘there is a risk of failure but research is ongoing into the degree of risk and the tree should be left until we have a better understanding’ and the tree fell across a main road the following week could I defend my decision?

 

 

Yes, research is on going, but we will also never know everything, so are you going to continue condemning trees on that basis......waiting until we have all the answers….

 

The point I am trying to make is that by blaming the obvious, healthy trees are being felled needlessly….. is that what tree care is all about ….. I think not ……

 

The presence of fruiting bodies such as Meripilus and Grifola are symptoms of a natural process, so our job as arborists is to determine whether the symptom is associated with something that could cause a health and safety issue or is detrimental to tree health and therefore its longevity.

 

I used to work as a climbing arborist running a contracting business serving domestic clients, so I am familiar with the situations you describe. I also thing that clients value the opportunity to make informed decisions based on choices that we can offer them. As such I think we demonstrate our care of trees by explaining that fungi are part of the natural survival strategy of trees and are integral part of their ability to survive for hundreds of years. However, under some circumstances in combination with other factors they can sometimes contribute to tree stability issues that we need to be concerned about.

 

Such situations need, and deserve, further investigation so we do not make rash (unprofessional) decisions biased on limited information. Although I agree that not all client will be prepared to commission us to undertake that investigation and that is their prerogative as the tree owner. Our job is to offer them the opportunity and provide them with a balanced informed opinion based on the best, most up to date information possible.

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I've seen at least 5 large beech fail due to Meripilus. I will always recommend to fell, if there are no targets then fair enough but when its next to a road,property etc why on earth would you take that risk?

 

Every single one had major decay in the anchor roots, they where like sponge!

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Every single one had major decay in the anchor roots, they where like sponge!

 

 

 

Perhaps I should clarify a point here..

 

I am not saying that Meripilus is totally innocent, I just want more arborists to consider it as a symptom that may or may not be associated with a stability of health issue that required recommendations that could include felling or reduction work.

 

Meripilus like any other organism is an opportunist and will take advantage of a situation, so where root damage occurs within the lateral root system the fungus will be able to exploit the area, and we all know how susceptible beech trees are to surface root damage. Particularly when they are adjacent to paths, roads or bridleways.

 

In such cases a further root investigation should be carried out by someone familiar with the interaction of decay fungi and tree roots, to make an informed decision as to how progressive the situation is and whether tree stability has become compromised.

 

Root damage does not necessarily have to be physical to allow the advance of decay. Compaction can cause dysfunction within tree roots that allows the ingress of oxygen into the system and creates the conditions within the woody root system in which decay fungi can grow.

 

Again these are complex issues and we should be clear about the diversity of contributing factors involved and not persist with generalisations that serve only to confuse the situation.

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Yet another fascinating thread! We have had a very large mature beech which has had meripilus recorded on it every year since at least 1996 .... in December 2005 we airspaded the roots as part of a demonstration of the equipment and I never actually found out what was found .....:blushing: Any way as a point of interest this year there has been no meripilus ...none what so ever ...canopy of tree seems pretty ok too. Really curious to know whats going on here.

 

the other question I have is there appears to be 2 versions of meripilus..... the chunky eggy bread kind which was on the beech mentioned above and the more finer delicate type which was once described to me as 'poppadom like'. Any thoughts out there?

 

If you would like the information I have on the Beech mentioned above, let me know ..

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