HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL! We have a wonderful start to the new year. MHMA’s tree identification walk, a course requested by our members, will take place next weekend. The walk will be led by NYS environmental educator, James Herrington. Jim is is a wonderful teacher and our club has benefited from having him as a guide on several previous outdoor classes.
As per my notes below, learning to identify the trees will help us in finding and identifying mushrooms which are associated with certain trees.
Winter is a wonderful time to sharpen these skills, where we can focus on ever-present characteristics such as the bark, twigs and tree shape, rather than relying on the presence of leaves for identification.
We are counting on our more knowledgeable club members to enhance this learning opportunity by sharing any information you have about the relationship of trees and fungi. Thanks, Lisa
Sunday, January 11th at 12 PM (We estimate that the event will be about 2 hrs)
Mills Norrie State Park (Margaret Lewis Norrie) State Park,
9 Old Post Road Staatsburg, NY
Meet at the Norrie Point Environmental Center – we will walk or drive to another spot from there.
What to wear: Check the forecast and wear appropriate clothing for cold winter temperatures. Layers are usually best as layers can be removed as you walk and heat up.
Wear footwear that will provide traction on unpaved ground and possible snow or ice patches depending on the weather.
Who should attend:
1- Anybody wanting to learn or add to their tree identification abilities
2- Anybody in the club who has knowledge of mushroom-tree relationships and is willing to share their knowledge to teach others.
trees and mushro
oms form a close, symbiotic relationship. In this relationship the tree brings organic compounds such as simple sugars to the mushroom. The mushroom, in turn, brings minerals and gathers water for the tree. Sometimes the relationship can also be a parasitic one (the mushroom feeding off of the tree) which eventually kills the tree. The relationship may also be mixed (both symbiotic and parasitic) over time. Most fungi are saprophytic-the mushroom taking the nutrients from a dead or dying tree thereby helping to decompose the wood. While fungi serve to feed many organisms while on the tree, they also help to rot wood and humus so that it returns to the earth and continues to sustain life in the food chain.
The mushrooms that help trees, and the ones that help to decay them, often have particular trees that they have a relationship with. Examples would be that Hen of the Woods is typically associated with oak trees; Morels are associated with Apple, Elm and Ash trees and Matsutaki are most often found with conifers. Well, you get the idea. …
Hope to see you there!