Identification: Fungus on roots of live oaks

Discussion in 'Fungi, Lichens and Slime Molds' started by Lazenbya2, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. Lazenbya2

    Lazenbya2 Member

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    Hello all, I am a biology student at Winthrop University in Rock Hill S.C. This term I have enrolled in a Mycology course and am having a ball. However, we have managed to find a fungus that is stumping all of us.... professor included.

    The fungus has only been found on the roots / base of oak trees. They are variable in size and are cream colored. They have been witnessed exuding a clear reddish liquid out of the upper surface. The shape of the fungus is variable. It can range from shelf like, to a lumpy mass. The interior of the fungus is modified wood. It is both hard and has growth ring like structures. It is almost like the fungus is modifying the wood to make the body, with the actually fungus is about 3mm thick covering the surface.

    I hope I can attach the photos right.


    Thanks, Andrew
     

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  2. Ralph Walton

    Ralph Walton Active Member 10 Years

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    The old loggers call the fungi on trees "conk flowers" which I think reveals a greater or at least previous understanding of the mechanics of tree rot. The "conk" is growing in the tree and the fungus (or in this case the mushroom) is the fruiting body, usually the much smaller portion of the organism. They wouldn't bother to cut such a tree because most of them wouldn't contain much marketable wood.

    The armillaria group of fungi may be your pest here, the common one being A. mellea. The mushrooms growing out of the bark around the base of the tree is indicative, other symptoms are progressive dieback from the branch tips, sprouting in the main branches and stem, and early fall coloring and leaf drop. If you remove the bark at the site of the mushroom, you should be able to see mycelial fans (white webbing).

    This is also a pest of Grape vines, and eventually kills by girdling.

    Ralph
     
  3. Lazenbya2

    Lazenbya2 Member

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    Thanks Ralph, that looks like it to me too. The variable shape was what was tripping us up in the key.

    Andrew
     
  4. Lazenbya2

    Lazenbya2 Member

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    Hello again, upon further reflection I have a couple more questions regarding the fungus, many of the examples I found on the web showed the fungus growing in a cluster. Also the photos clearly show a pileus, stipe and lamella. The conk that I am finding have none... Could I be looking at a anamorph vs. a teliomorph situation? It does not seem likely, but at this point I am considering all options.


    Ill try to post a photo of the cross section later today.

    Andrew
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I don't think it looks like honey fungus either.
     

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