fungus in soil

Discussion in 'Soils, Fertilizers and Composting' started by casey, Nov 18, 2001.

  1. casey

    casey Member

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    I have clumped mushrooms (15 - 20) at the base of my vine maple. The total clump is about 8" in diameter. I have removed one once and applied a soap mixture to the soil. They are back. When I was cleaning up the garden yesterday, I found lots of stingy white bits in the soil, which I assume are connected with the mushroom. Is this a disaster?
     
  2. Douglas Justice

    Douglas Justice Active Member UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society 10 Years

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    Mushrooms at the base of a tree can mean any of two or three things:

    1. The mushrooms are a mycorrhizal species and of benefit to the tree (mycorrhizae form mutualistic associations with higher plants, providing enhanced water and nutrient availability to the plant, while extracting sugars from it);

    2. The mushrooms could be a plant pathogenic species and causing disease;

    3. The mushrooms could be neither mycorrhizal nor pathogenic.

    In any case, there is basically nothing you can do that will affect the fungus. The white threads you see under the surface are the actual body of the fungus -- the mushrooms are merely the fruiting structures -- and they would've been proliferating for some time to be producing mushrooms at this time.

    To see what sort of mushrooms they are, check out one of the numerous mushroom identification sites on-line.
     
  3. casey

    casey Member

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    Thanks, Douglas! I'll just hang in and see if anything dies. That ought to tell me if the fungus is beneficial or parasitic, I suppose.
     
  4. Geoff Lewis

    Geoff Lewis Member

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    I've hung around quite a few vine maples over the years, and don't recall seeing a dead one, where its demise might possibly have been caused by soil-borne fungi. Now Japanese maples and verticillium wilt is a whole different ball of fungus.

    Our native Big Leaf maples (biggest maple leaves in the world, be proud) attract audiences of honey fungus, a parasite, but they are big and can support quite a few. Only the stupid parasites kill their host. It's counter-productive, ask your kids.
     

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