Edible and poisonous mushrooms growing on trees
While walking through the forest, you can see a lot of mushrooms “living” on stumps or tree bark. Mushrooms growing on trees are most often ignored by mushroom pickers, because they are considered inedible. This opinion is erroneous – among the woody mushrooms, you can find many not only tasty and nutritious, but also medicinal varieties..
Mushrooms growing on trees – features
“Wood mushrooms” growing on log cabins, dry, felled or living trees can be edible, unsuitable for human consumption and poisonous. Such organisms are parasites, they use tree bark as a nutritious substrate..
There are several varieties of woody mushrooms.:
- Some of them violate the integrity of the wood in the process of their parasitism..
- Others help recycle dead wood tissue.
- Still others are food for animals and birds.
Mushrooms growing on healthy trees are called parasites, on sick trees – saprophytes.
Mushrooms can appear on roots, branches, trunk, or tree stumps. Their spores penetrate into the deep layers of wood, extract useful elements from them and feed on them. They can have a traditional shape and are attached to the wood with a leg, or they can have the form of a shapeless mass, little resembling a familiar mushroom..
When choosing mushrooms growing on trees, it is very important to know the differences between edible and inedible species, because if some are used for food and medicinal concoctions, others can cause serious poisoning.
Edible mushrooms in the trees
Edible mushrooms on trees are found both in the environment of parasites and saprophytes. They can be seen on healthy and young trees, fallen stumps..
The most common edible mushrooms are:
- Oyster mushroom is a lamellar mushroom with good taste, often grown commercially. Found on birches, oaks, maples and elms. They can be recognized by a large fleshy gray hat with a diameter of up to 4-12 cm. Oyster mushrooms have elastic white flesh with a pleasant, slightly pronounced taste.
- Winter honey mushrooms are edible mushrooms that grow on poplars, willows, maples. They have a convex brown cap and rough hairs on their legs. Honey mushrooms bear fruit from October to April, most often used in pickled or salted form..
- Curly griffin – This fruit can be seen at the base of oak, beech, chestnut and other broad-leaved trees. The body of a griffin consists of many small and flat caps of a grayish or brown shade..
- Sulfur-yellow tinder fungus or Chicken mushroom – has an unusual taste, although it belongs to conditionally edible. These mushrooms on fruit trees bear fruit from late May to early September. The fruit bodies are covered with a soft fluff of a golden yellow hue, the caps have a wavy shape. When cooked correctly, mushroom pulp takes on an original flavor reminiscent of chicken meat.
- Among the mushrooms growing on trees, common liverwort is often found. This mushroom got its unusual name for its external similarity in the place of cut with the liver. It can only be seen on living wood, most commonly chestnuts and oaks..
In the liverwort, the fruits are in the form of tuberous growths, large and fleshy. The pulp is juicy, with a light fruity aroma and pleasant taste. Mushrooms can be eaten fried, pickled and salted.
Most of the wood mushrooms are conditionally edible. This means that they are suitable for consumption only after preliminary soaking and prolonged heat treatments..
Therefore, if you are not sure that you can cook the mushroom properly, it is better to leave it on the trunk..
In the forest or garden, you can also see inedible and poisonous mushrooms that should not be consumed. This can lead to severe poisoning..
Inedible mushrooms that grow on trees:
- Ischnoderm resinous – it is distinguished by a smooth surface of the fruiting body, a reddish-brown shade of the cap and a white color of the leg. During the ripening period, drops of liquid appear on the surface of the ischnoderm. The pulp is fibrous, juicy, white or beige. This fruit can be found on lindens, birches, beeches..
- The post is astringent – the mushroom body grows directly from the wood, having legs. Most often found on coniferous trees. The post has a fleshy, elastic cap, which can have a semicircular, kidney-shaped or triangular shape. The mushroom surface is white, covered with sticky spots. The pulp has an unpleasant, pungent odor and bitter taste..
- Ganoderma is a large mushroom with large and fleshy caps. Its surface is gray or brownish brown, the flesh is colored red or brownish chocolate. Ganoderma most often grows on linden, oak or poplar.
One of the most dangerous and common mushrooms is a real tinder fungus. These mushrooms appear on walnuts, apple trees, pears and other deciduous and fruit trees. Outwardly, it looks like flat bodies of pale gray light with golden yellow edges..
The polypore feeds on the tree for many years, eating away at its trunks and shoots from the inside. As a result, it becomes brittle and brittle, begins to exfoliate and simply crumbles into the annual rings..
Medicinal mushrooms growing on trees
When figuring out which mushrooms grow on birch, alder or other deciduous trees, do not forget about medicinal varieties..
They are used for decoctions, infusions, as well as for the manufacture of many medicines.:
- Larch sponge or agaricus – grows on the trunks of coniferous and deciduous trees. Agaricus is very large in size, adult mushrooms can weigh up to 8-10 kg. They are oblong, cylindrical or hoof-shaped, silvery-white or light yellow in color. Agaricus has a sedative, hemostatic and laxative effect, reduces excessive sweating.
- Varnished polypore – this mushroom is widely used in pharmacology under the name Reishi mushroom. It is known for its potent anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory properties. Reishi mushroom extract is a part of many drugs to normalize blood pressure, improve metabolism and blood circulation. It grows on dead wood. A characteristic feature of the tinder fungus is the shiny, varnished surface of the brown cap.
- Chaga, Birch mushroom or cut tinder fungus is one of the most common medicinal mushrooms. The diameter of the fruiting body reaches 7-45 cm. Chaga is a shapeless mushroom resembling a black growth with many cracks. Most often, cut tinder fungi grow on the bark of birch, alder, maple, elm or mountain ash. Chaga is known for its analgesic, antibacterial, diuretic and wound healing properties..
Many mushrooms prefer tree bark to soil. They can be edible, unfit for human consumption, or even poisonous. Medicinal mushrooms are distinguished separately, which are used in the pharmaceutical industry in the manufacture of medicines, as well as in herbal medicine..