Phellinus pini

© Michael Beug


A worldwide species complex that attacks the heartwood of conifer trees. Extremely prevelant in Western North America, and Washington state. It produces sporocarps, being conks that appear on a tree or log in potentially great numbers, depending on the extent of internal decay. The conks have great variability in morphology, even between individuals of the same host (Owens, 1936)



Phellinus pini (Fr.) Ames. Bracket 2-20cm across, 1-15cm thick; hoof-shaped, fan-shaped, or shelf-like; tawny to dark reddish brown or brownish black in age, with the margin often brighter; hard, crusty, rough or cracked, minutely hairy, generally curved. Tubes up to 6mm deep. Pores circular to irregularly sinuous; dingy yellow-tawny to brown. Stem minute or none. Flesh tough; tawny to tan or ochre. Spores globose or subglobose, smooth, 4-6 x 3.5-5µ. Deposit brown. Habitat singly or in rows on living or recently dead coniferous trunks. Common. Widely distributed in North America. Season perennial. Not edible. Comment A very destructive fungus that attacks the heartwood of living trees. (



In North America: Abies, Pinus, Larix, Pseudotsuga, Taxus. It attacks vigorous young hosts as well as aged declining hosts. When conks are present in tiers up and down the trunk of a tree there is likely extensive rot in the heartwood, and the tree’s fate is likely decided. This is one of the most economically important pathogens to the timber industry in the Pacific Northwest.



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