Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Halloween Came Early

Wanna see something really scary? How about a hideous creature growing on the beautiful tree in your front yard? Well that's what we had up until yesterday. We had noticed that there were a few mushrooms growing on our tree but not until yesterday did I realize how bad it had gotten.

This is not for the faint of's what we had going on:

Soooo gross, I know! I was so disgusted when I looked at it up close that it seriously gave me the willies. Then immediately my next thought was "Oh no, is this gonna kill our tree??" So I took a picture and texted my landscaping brother to see what he thought. I asked "Is this bad?" to which he replied "Yes, very bad." Ugh. He told me to scrape off as much as I could and then apply a fungicide so I got right to work. 

Before heading outside to cut the things up I quickly Googled as best I could to find out what exactly I was dealing with and whether or not it would be harmful for me to be breathing it in as I hacked away. I discovered that what we had was most likely a variety called Artist's Conk:

Although it is harmful to the tree it is growing on (it will weaken the wood and create holes for insects to get in to) it is not harmful to humans but rather many people pluck them off and use them to make art. In my case, um, no thanks. I'd rather not make them into a conversation piece. I don't even want to go near them let alone touch them with my bare hands. I used gloves.

The first "tool" I grabbed was a spackle knife/scraper and headed outside to survey the situation. Right away I knew things were bad because the shrooms were super hard and the spackle knife did nothing but flake off a few of the tips. This thing was on there for good and I needed reinforcements. Back into the garage I went and grabbed Dan's saw. Only then did I manage to get most of the beast off and leave a hideous patch behind. After a generous helping of some Daconil Fungicide I was hopeful that things would get better.

Here's what I was left with-- a ravaged tree covered in slime:


A few of the little ones that were too low to the ground for me to get up:

And here's the poor thing from afar. It lends so much shade to our front yard and I know the leaves are going to be so pretty in the Fall. I really hope this does the trick because it would be a shame to lose it! I guess only time will tell.

Have any of your ever dealt with a parasitic mushroom problem? What'd you do to take care of it?
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