Did you notice that many of the old Sycamores have a hollow stem? On the Sycamore tree at the edge of the trench about 30 m below the trail, you can observe this phenomenon closely. The cause for the hollow trunks is a particular fungi, a polypore (Polyporus squamosus). This fungi infects the dead heartwood of trees and decomposes it. The living parts of the trees are usually not infected, therefore the trees take no direct damage - apart from the loss of stability. The large, fruiting bodies of the Polypore can reach a diameter of 60 cm. They are annual and usually formed in early summer (May to June). The young fungi is edible, but its culinary value is considered rather low. In the hollow tree trunk a young Sycamore is growing. The young tree is eaten by wild and grazing livestock. The Sycamore mostly survives the bites, however, from the hindered growth a competitive disadvantage results compared tree species less endangered by bite, such as the spruce. Perhaps this young Sycamore will someday replace its “protector” signed by age, wind and weather.