I harvested this tree in the pictures below first in 2006 and then harvested it again in 2010. And as you can see, I did not disturb the inner part of the tree by digging into the tree. It remains sealed and does not harm the Xylem or the Pith of the tree, by doing this, the Chaga will continue to grow as long as the tree lives. I will go back and harvest it again in 2014.
Sad news folks, I went back to this tree today 26/01/2014 and someone has beat me to it, not to worry though, it must have been one of my guys because the tree still looks strong and healthy and was harvested correctly so , there's always 2018 if I can get to it first that is.
Most trees that die soon after being harvested for Chaga is caused by the harvesters digging or chiseling into the tree to get all of the Chaga out, this practice results in further damage being done to the structure of the tree. I was a certified Arborist for over 20 years and teach my harvesters personally how to harvest these trees, adhering to the I.S.A. (International Society of Arboriculture) of pruning standards.
Yes, it is true that the Chaga will eventually kill the tree, but this is a big healthy tree and because it has only one infection, will live for many many more years with proper care. If the the tree has many infections, then it will die within four to five years, and you may not get another harvest from the tree.