Gardeners never know what they might see when they look out the back window. What a surprise for Joan Griffith when these mushrooms sprouted in a maple tree.
The top of the tree was torn off during a bad storm in 1998, the storm which produced Pittsburgh's rare downtown tornado.
Fast forward to 2012 and Joan couldn't believe her eyes when she looked out and saw this giant mushroom in the tree. "It looked like a miniature birdbath up in the tree, I thought I was seeing things," she said. The main mushroom was nearly a foot in diameter with two smaller ones right next to it. "It was pretty a very graceful shape, but a strange place to see it growing." It's 10-12 feet up in the tree. Her husband Wilbert got a ladder and shot the close up of the fungi.
The neighbors all came over, friends and family too for a look at the strange mushroom.
She's worried the mushroom is indicative of something bad for the maple, and that's probably true. "The tree might be dying, we would hate to loose it," she said. They've lived in their Shaler home over 40 years with the tree keeping the house cool for many of those years. They had it planted decades ago. "I'd miss the shade very much," she says with a sigh.
She'll be watching the health of the tree carefully hoping for many years of growth from the giant.
Anyone know what kind of mushroom that is?