Identification: Large thing found on tree

Discussion in 'Fungi, Lichens and Slime Molds' started by Justin.Philip, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. Justin.Philip

    Justin.Philip Member

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    I was out taking some photos in the woods and I saw this large mass of something growing on a tree. I was just curious about what exactly it is. It was shot on B&W film but the subject was all white anyways.
     

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  2. Frog

    Frog Rising Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Was it soft or hard? Was the surface smooth or did it have bumps or spines?
     
  3. stormbythesea

    stormbythesea Active Member

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    Just tossing a guess out there...Hericium erinaceus?
     
  4. Justin.Philip

    Justin.Philip Member

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    I guess I would say it was soft because it wasn't really hard. It looked like little spines. But not long spines. They looked tightly packed together and all the same length.
     
  5. Frog

    Frog Rising Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I think Storm is right.
     
  6. Justin.Philip

    Justin.Philip Member

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    Thanks. I would say that is probably what it is. Is this a cool thing to find or are they pretty common?
     
  7. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Is this usually an indication the tree is on it's way out? The reason I ask is because one of my large native trees developed a similar growth and in a little while it lost its leaves and began dying. It was already not well before I saw the fungal type growth.

    Turns out it was rotten in its root system. Apparently it is very common for this to happen. The have just remove a lot of old dead ones down on the bush strip at the bottom of my paddock.

    http://www.blackwoodfurniture.com.au/blackwood.htm

    I estimate the two in my garden were a good 100 years old. Very large circumfrence and about 40 feet tall

    By the way happy Australia day all Aussies on list (26th)

    Liz
     
  8. Frog

    Frog Rising Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Some wood decay fungi work quickly, some work slowly, sometimes very. I gather it is in some species' self-interest to keep a tree alive for as long as possible.
    Trees have been deliberately inoculated with slow workers like Sparassis (Cauliflower) in order to out compete fungi that would kill a tree more quickly.
    Maybe googling (or contacting someone) in forestry sciences would elicit some info on Hericium's speed in this wise?
     
  9. Mycos

    Mycos Active Member

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  10. Frog

    Frog Rising Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Questions that occur to me which would be interesting but hard to answer:
    I wonder if there has been any interference by humans in that grove, in the sense of inoculation experiments, during the grove's history.
    I wonder if it is possible to assess the age of a sparassis infection if one could see the downed tree that contained it.
    And I wonder if there were any Sparassis competitors visibly hanging about, like honey mushrooms (rhizomorphs or fruit) or Hypholomas or what not?
    ah questions lead to more questions.
    I found the wind damage to the alders in pacific spirit park similarly interesting for seeing the fungal colonies that dominate and recede in waves. The changes are so profoundly visibly when the damage is on such a huge scale.

    - frog
     
  11. Mycos

    Mycos Active Member

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    On that one question, I think it's safe to say "No". The reason being is the first time I ever went up there was as a student in a Forestry Technician course back down at Malaspina College. We would go up there quite often for various reasons, and myself, already being known to the instructor for my interest in mycology, had he been aware of any studies dealing with fungi at Cathedral grove, I feel somewhat certain that he would have brought the subject up with me.

    As it was, the instructor being a Professional Forester, had a knowledge of the bush that was so immense that I marvelled at it at the time, except for when it came to fungi. It seemed that, apart from a number of polypores and the Honey Mushroom (which they called Shoe-String Root Rot <g>) , MoF seemed much more concerned with different rusts, smuts and the like. Unfortunately I found it hard to get as excited about a smut as I would the brushed-leather look of a Boletus mirabilis for example. Oh well....Such is life I suppose. LOL
     
  12. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    When I see the title of this thread I think it might be about Daniel but when I click it open and see the pictures I realize it isn't.
     
  13. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Checking if I'm reading all the posts, Ron?
     
  14. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Well, you might've been up there collecting specimens or taking a photo. I already know you're on the ball.
     

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