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Mushrooms near a Fruitless Mulberry

3 months ago
last modified: 3 months ago


Hope you can help :-)

Four years ago I moved into a house with a healthy, mature (40+) year-old fruitless mulberry.

When I moved in, the leaves were deep green and grew to the size of dessert plates. Two years ago I noticed some of the branch tips were bare or had undersized brighter green leaves.

Last year, it took a dramatic turn for the worse in the Spring, with stains forming on the upper limbs and trunk. Portions of the bark had almost a charred appearance, and the bark was lifting in some areas. If I pulled the bark off, a flaky yellowish coating was underneath. This year the leaves are not yet all that well developed — smaller and fewer than I would typically see this time of year. However, I no longer see the stains (bacterial wet rot?). One thing I do see every year, however, is mushroom growth on the side of the tree that gets the least amount of sun.

I contacted a handful of tree services last year and a couple of them advised me to cut the tree down and others suggested I try deep watering and fertilizing (hadn't been doing that so it was thought the tree was under drought stress).

I'm not sure what the best course of action is. As one of the attached photos depicts, there is a small crevice in the trunk where these mushrooms are also located. There are also clumps of them about 10" away from the trunk. The ground almost looks like it's wet — or like coffee grounds — unless I look closely at which point I notice these small brown mushrooms.

Any suggestions on what this might be and how best to treat the tree? (I'd like to save the tree if I can since it reminds me of one I grew up with as a child.)

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