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I never had mushrooms in my garden. But this year they appeared in a significant number. Why?

They appeared in the area where a large tree was removed last year. That area was generously watered this year (to support new plants). Could that be connected to the mushrooms?

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    The fungus/mycelium has likely always been there, but it just decided to fruit this season for some reason (maybe the watering). – Nick T Jul 16 '18 at 17:50
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They're a perfectly natural part of nature's disposal/decomposition system - they break down dead wood. If they didn't, that dead wood would take forever to decompose, so if you have woody roots or even a stump left behind, fungal activity is an obvious consequence. The fact you've watered the area assists the fungal process and will aid faster breakdown of the dead wood under the ground.

Most of the fungal growths associated with decomposition are harmless to other, living plants, but there are one or two that you don't really want to encourage in the garden, honey fungus being one of them. However, you've not described the growths, but given they're fruiting now, its less likely to be honey fungus - they fruit around September. You do not need to remove the mushrooms unless you just don't like the look of them - the mycelium that supported them will still be present anyway, and will continue to do their work on the wood.

  • I only want to add that wood will break down without fungus. Lots and lots of other decomposers at work, but there is always fungus amongus. Everywhere. So good luck making a sterilized system to check wood decomposing without fungus, ha ha. I was just reading something about 'honey fungus'... – stormy Jul 16 '18 at 22:09
  • @stormy yea I know - but bacteria and other soil organisms take much, much longer, and, as always, all these disposal systems work better together – Bamboo Jul 17 '18 at 0:01
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Yes. Probably it is some Armillaria, but maybe other species. Fungi likes dead wood (and dead roots) as nutrient to grow. Fungi cannot produce own food (evolutionary, they are more related to animals than vegetables), so they need to find nutrients.

You should remove them, and in a few years they should reduce, until they will find no more root. Next time, when you remove a tree, try to remove as much as possible his roots (especially root near surface).

If you are lucky, the fungi are on another species, which like just the chips (produced by cutting the tree). In this case chips will disappear a lot quicker.

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    Why should the OP remove them? (And how - removal of the fruiting bodies won’t affect the actual fungus.) – Stephie Jul 16 '18 at 10:31
  • And I think blindly assuming Amarilla is too much of a wild guess, I can think of dozens of possible candidates and the OP gave neither a picture nor a description. – Stephie Jul 16 '18 at 11:33
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    @Stephie: I do know exactly why (it is a old saying). But it do not cause harm. Yes, you do not remove the micellius, but you remove the spores. Often the fungi are very dense, which ruins the lawn. And I would remove them before they will become a gelatinous mass.. The OP wrote "significant number". Armillaria? I think it is the most frequent (with "significant number"), but I wrote that it could be other species. – Giacomo Catenazzi Jul 16 '18 at 12:37
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    I was going to add I came across Puff Ball mushrooms in my lawn a few years ago. Wow. I had too much fun poking them! But I never had any problems with too many. In the lawn, they get mowed. And mushrooms are but a tiny part of the plant that is more like an animal?! – stormy Jul 16 '18 at 22:21
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    @stormy: more related to animal kingdom, but such kingdom is very very diverse, and we are speaking about the period which a plant or an animal were still just one lonely cell. OTOH eating mushroom is much more like eating meat then vegetables (e.g. type of protein).Dry Puff Balls are very funny, but they have other requirements on soil. I really do not want that every forgotten root become full of mushroom (and in my experience mushroom growing from roots are often much much more dense). (similat to the parasitic plant: Lathraea) – Giacomo Catenazzi Jul 17 '18 at 7:10

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