September 16, 2021

Fungi and oak trees – module 2 of 3

Part two of a three part course led by an expert team of mycology researchers and specialists. Delegates keen to sign up for parts 2 and 3 will receive a full zoom recording of the first session in order to catch up.

The second of three modules taking place in Spring, Autumn and Winter on the following dates:

Thursday 20 May, Thursday 16 September and Thursday 02 December 2021

If you have missed session one, you can still book sessions two and three and receive a complete recording of session one!


  • Professor Lynne Boddy – Cardiff University
  • Jill Butler – Ancient Tree Specialist and Trustee of the Tree Register of the British Isles
  • Rich Wright – PhD researcher, Cardiff University, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
  • Ed Pyne – PhD researcher, Bangor University
  • Matt Wainhouse – PhD researcher, Cardiff University

For more information about the tutors please click HERE and scroll down for the tutor profiles.

Time: 11.00am to 3.00pm each session (2.5 hours teaching, 45 mins Q & A, 30mins breaks)

Method: ZOOM online meetings

Maximum number of delegates: 30

Oaks are among the UK’s most loved trees. Their tangled branches and grand stature have inspired countless folk tales and they are an iconic part of the British landscape. Oaks are the third most common tree in woodlands and the most common in open grown settings, totalling more than 120 million individuals. They can live to over 1000 years and the UK supports more than 49,000 ancient, veteran, and notable oak trees, more than all other European countries combined.

As with all trees, fungi play many essential and formative roles in an oak’s life. These range from mycorrhizal associations that provide critical nutrients throughout their lives, through to the heart-rot fungi that engineer the great hollows that support a rich multitude of biodiversity.

Despite a great history of research and observation, much like the empty mysterious darkness that an oak hollow emits, there are many gaps in our knowledge of the fungi that grow on and with oaks, their interactions, and their effects on the life of tree. This course will bring together current knowledge and insights from researchers and specialists that have focused on oak and their associated fungi.

The course will be delivered in 3 online sessions through a mix of live and pre-recorded sessions. This will be balanced with plenty of breaks and discussion time. The first session will begin with introductory concepts in mycology, fungal ecology and oak associated diversity. We will then progress through a more detailed look at the effects of fungi on oak and the hidden diversity beneath the bark and will round up with a look at the historical presence of oak in the UK, conservation, and management practices that will support these amazing trees and the biodiversity that relies upon them.

The course is aimed at anyone with an interest in trees or fungi and will progress from introductory material to more in depth subjects progressively. It will be of particular interest to arboriculturists, ecologists, land managers and field mycologists that wish to deepen their understanding of the relationships between trees and fungi.

The RFS is very excited and proud to offer this course, which is led by a team of distinguished academics and specialists in the field and is a superb opportunity for members and non-members to learn more about this fascinating topic in a relaxed online learning environment.

Course summary:

  • Introduction to mycology, basic biology and key concepts
  • Fungal diversity
  • Ecological roles of fungi
  • The oak holobiont
  • Oak associated biodiversity
  • Types of decay
  • Establishment and succession
  • Community structure in wood
  • How fungi influence the structure of trees
  • Current research into oak associated fungi
  • Key fungi associated with oak
  • A global view of fungi in forests
  • History of oaks in the UK landscape
  • Conservation of oaks
  • Conservation of fungi
  • Veteranisation of oak
  • Management practices to support oaks and associated diversity

If you have missed the first session in May, you can still book to attend sessions two and three, and will be sent a complete recording of the first session, consisting of all of the tutor presentations and the various Q & A sessions.

Price: RFS members £57.50 / non-RFS members £80.00 (for all three sessions)