Last year we removed a large tree stump from our front yard. The former owners had built a wall around it and filled it with a flower garden. Needless to say it was rather ugly and so we had the rotting stump shaved down to about 8-12 inches below ground level and have covered it with grass. This season I have noticed a number of mushrooms growing in the area of the stump. Not only am I allergic to mushrooms but I have a 2 year old that will put just about anything in his mouth! Are they dangerous and is there anything I can do to stop them from growing?
ps. In the same area I have hostas lining my drive way…in the fall I notice mushrooms growing there too but they are different and give off a “poof” of yellow-green smoke when removed. Are they dangerous?
This is a fascinating subject (though I know it seems a little upsetting at first). Mushrooms and other fungi do the work of breaking down nature’s debris, and each form of woody plant — each kind of tree — has a particular relationship with a kind of mushroom, which will appear if all goes well when the tree dies to deal with the leftovers.
So what kind of mushrooms they are (and the other ones are) depends on the material they showed up to help decompose — sometimes it’s the wood-chip mulch that they are working on, by the way, not an actual tree.
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Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.