The Chinese grow Ganoderma for medicinal use. I was given a tour of one of their facilities where they process the fungus. I really wanted to see where they grew them, but I couldn't for some reason. They make both a drink, which has the most horrible taste imaginable, and capsules of the powder. One of the very few air conditioned facilities I saw in China was the room where the capsules were filled.
That is interesting Clathrus and ironically, I am very much interested in Chinese medicine... how great that you toured such places in China.
Resin, I am surrounded by trees for sure... but the mushrooms only grow from the dead trees, limbs or as in this instance, a stump. It appears that we are surrounded by a pretty healthy ecosystem here...but I could be wrong. I will have to check into that further. Thank you for your observation.
[quote]as in this instance, a stump[/quote]
Sorry, didn't read carefully enough - hadn't noticed they were only on stumps, not big trees!
[quote]Ganoderma isn't much of a pathogen, although it can cause decay in the non-living interior part of the tree trunk.[/quote]
Dunno about Texas, but in Britain it is a significant pathogen of old Beech in particular, and is one of the commonest causes of decay resulting in trees collapsing due to the loss of their structural interior.
The British Ganoderma may be a different variety or species; so far as I know, the population genetics of Ganoderma haven't been worked out. That can be a rather complicated affair, if similar Basidiomycetes are any indication. I can certainly imagine that it could cause problems such as you mention, while still being a weak pathogen. In this case, a pathogen is defined as an organism which attacks the living tree tissue. In the US, I don't believe it is particularly significant as a decay organism; I have mostly seen it near the base of the tree or exposed major roots. Of course, I haven't kept up with the literature since I retired.
Hi Clathrus - Ganoderma species here include G. adspersum, G. applanatum, G. lucidum, G. pfeifferi, G. resinaceum.
"G. applanatum causes root and butt rot of many broadleaved trees. It is especially damaging to old, over-mature beeches, but is also the commonest cause of rot in standing poplars, and is frequent also in elms. It also attacks oak, sycamore, horse-chestnut, willow and walnut. ... G. pfeifferi can cause severe root, stem and branch decay in beech. The fungus can extend out from the central wood of live trees into the cambial region, killing extensive areas of bark and ultimately killing the whole tree." — Phillips & Burdekin, Diseases of Forest and Ornamental Trees (2nd ed., 1992).