Root Fomes (Heterobasidion annosum)
Some species of fungi attack dying or dead wood and act as an agent to break down the waste material; others are more deadly attacking healthy trees and killing them. Root fomes is one of the latter and is a preditor of conifers although it can occur on broad-leaved trees as well. A common species, the brackets appear near the base of the trunk (and can be obscurred by other vegetation) all year round and there are usually more than one of them. Being at the base of the tree it looks as though the roots are 'foaming', hence its comon name.
This is certainly not one for the frying pan!
Find out more about Root Fomes in Dorset here: www.natureofdorset.co.uk/species_panel/Root%20Fomes?vdt=s...