Although naturally occurring, root rot is enhanced within refined landscapes by supplemental irrigation, particularly excessive irrigation.

Tony Tomeo

04Is this Armillaria mellea, the dreaded oak root rot fungus? I really do not know. All the elements are here. The stump is that of a coast live oak. Bellow the stump there are the remains of roots. Those necrotic roots are undoubtedly decomposing as a result of rot. That rot is undoubtedly associated with this fungus. Furthermore, it fits the description of oak root rot fungus. The toasted spots were probably caused by weathering as the mushrooms started to develop while the weather was still warm and dry.

Now that the soil and rotting wood are damp from rain, this fungus is really proliferating. The individual mushrooms within the soccer ball sized mass were only about as big as those at the lower left margin of the picture just prior to the rain. They do not last long, and might become gooey black slop after only a few…

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2 thoughts on “The Humongous Fungus Among Us

  1. That certainly is one big fungus! Coincidentally, last night I began watching a Netflix special about fungi; it’s very interesting. I have seen orange mushrooms growing near the base of the huge white pine on the other side of my shared fence, and do know that those have a symbiotic relationship with the trees. So it’s good to point out that not all tree-related fungi are necessarily benevolent ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Because rot is such a common problem among old oaks that did without irrigation for a century or so before a generously irrigated landscape moved in around them, fungus has a very bad reputation here.


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