Almost exactly a year ago I found Oyster Mushrooms growing on the broken off trunk and a fallen log of an Eastern Cottonwood tree in Eliza Howell Park.
With that in mind, I have recently been stopping by that trunk to take a look. In the last few days, the fruiting bodies of the mushrooms have again appeared.
- CAUTION: While I make every effort to identify correctly a mushroom that I name, I am not a mycologist / fungus expert and might well be mistaken in identifying the species. My naming or description is not a safe basis for consuming a particular mushroom. One should be 100 percent sure of the kind of mushroom one is harvesting and my knowledge is much too limited to provide that.
I am taking advantage of this second year of observation to get to know this species better as part of the Eliza Howell.
On this particular cottonwood, the mushrooms are plentiful, appearing in clumps, not individuals. The mushrooms shown here cover, from top to bottom, about 15 inches
Oyster Mushrooms grow on dead wood and are decomposers, breaking down the wood. In this location, they are on the standing trunk and on the fallen logs on the ground.
Most of this particulat cottonwood has fallen and the trunk that remains standing has only one living branch.
The biggest log on the ground has a long row of Oyster Mushrooms on both sides (only a small part of one side shown here).
I am learning that one way of getting to know mushrooms better is to look underneath. Oyster Mushrooms are gilled mushrooms, with relatively wide spacing between the gills.
Oyster Mushrooms are considered one of the most desirable eating mushrooms among the wild mushrooms in Michigan, right behind morels. Morels grow on the ground and I have not seen any in Eliza Howell Park. Oysters grow on at least this one nearly dead cottonwood.
Until last year, I knew very little about Oyster Mushrooms and did not know where to look for them.
But, based on these two years, I will now be looking for them to appear on dead or dying cottonwood trees/logs when the weather heats up in late spring in Eliza Howell Park