Mail: qdnr@quinault.org   Phone: 1-360-276-8211 x7001

Fungi

More Tree Health Issues Across the State

As the seasons change and the weather warms, DNR Forest Health staff tend to get more inquiries about tree health issues across the state. Some issues such as root diseases or Douglas-fir bark beetle mortality are relatively common, while others are less common but equally attention-getting. The latter includes red and dead branches, red and newly dead trees, and impacts on trees of various ages and sizes. A couple of issues in two of our most common tree species have emerged this year, including western hemlock defoliation and mortality, and tip dieback in Douglas-fir. You may have seen some...

Dead Trees Are Alive With Fungi

Fungi that live on trees perform an important function in the forest ecosystem by breaking down dead wood. This is no easy feat, because wood is very resilient. It is held together by a biopolymer known as lignin, which together with cellulose and hemicellulose form the cell wall of woody plants and give the wood its stability. Fungi are able to break down the robust lignin and the flexible cellulose fibres by releasing enzymes that cause the polymers to degrade and become mineralised. As part of the ecosystem’s cycle, the leftover material becomes part of the humus layer, which...