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ID these mushrooms at base of oak tree

Posted by anitamo z5 IL (My Page) on
Sun, Aug 12, 07 at 21:35

Can someone tell me what these mushrooms are that are growing around the base of an old red oak tree? There are about 4 of these, and now they have some black growth on them, too.

I posted in the tree forum, and I got a reply that it indicates decay and the tree is probably dying. I don't know if I need to know the name of the mushroom, but I'm really curious about it. How serious does this look? Also, the fern(top right) in the first pic is turning brown...is lack of water the cause, or a sign of something worse?
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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: ID these mushrooms at base of oak tree

Hard to tell if it's a shelf mushroom unless you can see the underside of it. Is it hard, or soft?


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RE: ID these mushrooms at base of oak tree

I've had some of these (on a half-dead box elder) for several years now. The first appeared when we cut off a branch that had been broken in a storm. (Why is it the live branches get damaged, not the dead ones?) Now the mushrooms are forming in other spots on the tree. Just about the whole center of this tree is dead. Someone told me they are shelf mushrooms.


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