davelon's picture

Tree stump fungus

Observed: 6th October 2011 By: davelondavelon’s reputation in Fungi and Lichens

This stump was a willow tree which died suddenly in summer 2010. We left the stump to encourage wildlife. This fungus grew almost overnight. Is it ok to have in the garden, or could it be a sign of honey-fungus, which I understand is harmful? A nearby privet hedge died 15 years ago, with what appeared to be honey root fungus. Thanks for any advice.


Caution: Do NOT use iSpot to identify fungi to eat!

Some fungi are very poisonous so a mistaken ID could have serious consequences.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Honey Fungus interacts


Fenwickfield's picture

more photo's

If possible can you post some close ups of cap stem and gill's as from photo posted it is difficult to say if it is as there are a few other's it could be.



anonymous spotter's picture

If it is honey fungus -

which is likely (though as Fenwickfield points out, not certain), then it can infect other trees (and some woody shrubs).
Whether you consider this a problem depends on your point of view. If you have prized trees, then yes, it is. Otherwise, you might find it an interesting natural parasite that you don't mind having around.
Stressing the importance of being sure about the identity, honey fungus is valued by many as one of the finest edible fungi, though it must be cooked well (poisonous raw), and some species cause a nasty reaction if eaten with alcohol.
The largest living organism on the planet at present is probably a honey fungus. See http://www.extremescience.com/biggest-living-thing.htm

AlanS's picture


There is a visible ring on a stem top right, though difficult to make out further characters. It is certainly an Armillaria.

The colour would be odd for true A. mellea, the most destructive species, but it could be that. It might be A. ostoyae, perhaps even A. borealis (doesn't like quite right for either), but the strong probability is that it is ONE of the strongly pathogenic species that can spread through the ground and attack and kill previously healthy trees.

BTW, I am not convinced that these Armillaria populations constitute single living organisms. Has anyone proved that the underground mycelium is still joined up? Otherwise it is simply a clone and no more a single organism than an orchard of Cox's Orange Pippins.

Martincito's picture

Here is a link to the RHS

Here is a link to the RHS page on Honey Fungus and what to do if you want to control it "There are no chemicals available for control of honey fungus. If honey fungus is confirmed, the only effective remedy is to excavate and destroy, by burning or landfill, all of the infected root and stump material".
There is a list of susceptible plants which lists salix as Notably Susceptible...