There are over 15,000 species of fungus in the UK with many of these only being identified with a microscope, however we’ve listed 5 common species to keep a look out for in your garden. If you have trees affected, then we can look at ways to care for your trees so please contact us HERE
Armillaria mellea, or Honey fungus is found growing in large clusters on trunks, stumps or deadwood but can also be found in grass, spreading easily. The rhizomorphs or ‘bootlaces’ are found under the clusters of fungi and surrounding bark. It’s quite the murderous fungus as it can live on its host whether dead or alive and can spread underground killing its host. It usually becomes visible in the spring showcasing a yellow-brown to honey coloured toadstool with a unique white ring around the stem. Apparently, it’s a pretty tasty mushroom but is prone to gastric upsets so should only be tried in small amounts.
Ganoderma applanatum, commonly known as Artists bracket, is often seen in Suffolk gardens. It’s usually found on hardwoods such as oaks and beech but can appear on conifers too. A fairly easy one to identify with a lumpy, dull brown cap surface, grey/white pore surface and woody brown flesh. It’s not considered edible because it’s far too tough but is used as stock and teas in Asian cuisine.
Meripilus giganteus (giant polypore) is a very large polypore that is found on stumps and at the base of some living broadleaf trees, but particularly affects beech trees. The caps can be up to half a metre wide but are short lived and can rot away quickly. They are usually tan or light brown in colour. Young specimens are reportedly edible however they have been known to cause stomach upsets so probably best avoided.
Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, known as Ash dieback is an incredibly destructive disease of ash trees, especially native species in the UK. The summer months are best to identify it and it will usually start with the blackening and wilting of leaves and shoots. The infection can then progress to the twigs, branches and eventually the trunk causing dark lesions or cankers, to form in the bark. This fungus is becoming a fairly significant disease for ash trees throughout the UK.
Inonotus hispidus, or Shaggy bracket is another fungi attacking ash tree predominantly but also in dead or dying broadleaf trees. Fruiting bodies appear in summer and will usually have fallen off by late autumn and they are usually found around the trunk and major scaffold. Ash trees with pruning wounds are notably susceptible. It is a tough, inedible fungus.