we had one too. last year the big old tree at the end of our driveway had one. a big-ole-mushroom-fungus. inordinately weird and begging you to touch-it-ewww-don’t-touch-it.
this one – on a big tree by the park a few blocks away – looked like shelf fungi. shelf fungi is a wood rotter, damaging to trees. we think ours was a northern tooth fungus (who knew there were so many tree-shrooms!); the tooth fungus can impair the structural stability of our tree. and, i read, fungi breaks down dead wood, thus a part of the forest ecosystem. trying to remove it will release billions of spores that can infect other trees and plants. just makes you wanna shudder.
it seems somewhat unfair that as these giants age they become more and more susceptible to these fungus matters. it would seem like the gentle giants had earned a peaceful coast into the sunset, surviving youth of sapling, the perils and storms of young adulthood, the strength and steadfastness of middle age, the passing-of-the-baton to the golden years. it would seem that these mighty towers of thousands upon thousands upon thousands of days of stories should be granted ease, sunlight, water, serenity.
so why is it that they are not impervious to challenging diseases, exhaustion, lack of nutrients, even rot?
is their medicare and social security also at risk?