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Remarks (public):For a complete description including images see 
Remarks (internal):The false tinder fungus has been recorded as especially destructive to poplars and birches in North America and elsewhere in Europe on a variety of broad leaved trees. In Great Britain it commonly attacks the cricket-bat willow, Salix alba var. coerulea, but rarely any other broad-leaved trees. Poison girdling of infected aspen trees has been found to prevent spore release from all attached carpophores within 1 year (Iverson, 1968). Control in aspen plantations would appear to depend on preventing the formation of branch wounds and limiting the growth to short rotations of about 50 years.
Description type:Non-original description 
Description:Phellinus igniarius (L.: Fr.) Quel., Enchir. Fung.: 172, 1886.
= Polyporus igniarius L.: Fr., Syst. Mycol. 1: 375, 1821.
= Fomes igniarius (L.: Fr.) Kickx, 1876.
Carpophore extremely variable in shape, sessile with broad basal attachment, usually solitary, sometimes imbricate, rarely resupinate. Pileus 3-15 x 5-20 x 2-12 cm, convex, ungulate to dimidiate, or appressed-reflexed; upper surface tawny brown, tomentose when young becoming grey-black glabrescent, often somewhat rimose, sometimes developing a slight crust; margin very thick, obtuse. Context 0,5-l cm or several centimetres thick, dark tawny brown, blackening with KOH, subzoned-silky, firm to woody. Pore-surface grey brown to cinnamon tawny, pores regular subcircular, 4-5 per mm, 85-170 µm diam., dissepiments 30-85 µm thick, edge entire; tubes indistinctly stratified, rust to tobacco-brown, 2-5 mm long in each layer, older layers white stuffed. Basidiospores 5-6,5 x 4-5,2 (av. 5,3 x 4,5) µm, subglobose to broadly ovoid, hyaline, with a smooth thin to slightly thickened wall and refractive guttulate contents. Basidia 9,5-12 x 5-7,5 µm, short clavate, 4-spored. Setae present, 13-20 x 5-7,5 µm, pointed, ventricose to subulate, with a dark tawny brown thickened wall. Setal Hyphae absent. Hyphal system dimitic, non-agglutinated, with generative and skeletal-hyphae. Generative Hyphae 1,5-3 µm diam., hyaline or pale yellowish brown, wall thin or sometimes thickening, freely branching, simple septate. Skeletal Hyphae 1,5-5 µm diam., unbranched, of unlimited growth, with a thickened reddish brown wall (to 2 µm thick) and a narrow lumen, non-septate. Colonies slow growing on malt agar, optimum temperature 28°C (27: 52); mat felled, two-zoned, centre ochraceous-buff, margin white, peeling readily from agar after 14 days (45, 646). Isolates have been divided into three groups (i) isolate from aspen produces slow growth and odour of methyl salicylate, (ii) isolate from white birch produces rapid growth and no odour,
(iii) isolate from various hosts produces rapid growth and methyl salicylate odour (16: 115).
Hosts: Common on the trunks of Salix and Populus, also recorded on Acer, Arbutus, Arctostaphylos, Betula, Carpinus, Castanopsis, Cornus, Erythropheum, Fagus, Fraxinus, Juglans, Ostrya, Pericopsis, Prunus, Pyrus, Quercus, Rhamnus and Ulmus.
Disease: White heart rot. Causing a destructive decay of the general delignifying type. The decayed area becomes soft and white, bounded by conspicuous dark zones or black lines with an irregularly concentric arrangement.
Geographical distribution: Africa (Eritrea, Madagascar, Zambia); Asia (Japan, U.S.S.R.); Europe (Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Netherlands, Norway, Rumania, Sweden); North America (Canada, U.S.A.); Central America (Nicaragua, Venezuela).
Physiological specialization: Verrall (1937) recognized three forms based on differences in morphology, cultural characteristics, rates of decay of various wood species and reaction to zinc chloride: on aspen (Populus spp.), birch (Betula spp.) and on miscellaneous hosts (Betula, Ostrya, Carya and Juglans). No differences in pathogenicity or host susceptibility were found by Wall (1963) between the forms on aspen, birch and P. igniarius from Acer, Betula and Ostrya, although these were different in spore germination requirements indicating that each needed a different substrata. Water extracts from dead branches of Populus have been observed to inhibit varieties of P. igniarius other than var. populinus (44, 262).
Transmission: By airborne spores, which are continuously produced from early spring until late autumn when the temperature drops below 5°C (Riley, 1952). Spores remain viable for several months under field conditions (Iverson, 1968). Infection occurs mainly through branch wounds.
Literature: Boyce, Forest Pathology pp. 441-445, 1938 (characteristics of decay); Campbell & Davidson, J. For. 39: 559-560, 1941 (decay of yellow birch); Riley, Can. J. Bot. 30: 710-734, 1952 (decay of poplar); Cartwright & Findlay, Decay of timber and its prevention ed. 2, 1958; Pilat, Atlas des Champignons de l'Europe 3: Polyporaceae, p. 508, 1942; Lowe, Polypolaceae of North America. The genus Fomes p. 56, fig. 40, 1957 (description); Verrall, Tech. Bull. Minn. agric. Exp. Stn 117: 41 pp., 1937; Wali, Diss. Abstr. 23 (1962): 1867- 1868, 1963 (variation and physiologic specialization); Iverson, Diss. Abstr. 28 B: 4377, 1968 (epidemiology).
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