Bracket fungus, also known as shelf fungus, is easily recognized by the semicircle-shaped shelves growing around the base of a tree. A key identifying characteristic of bracket fungus is the growth that emerges right out of the tree bark. Bracket fungus does not have stems similar to mushrooms.
Many species of bracket fungus develop multi-colored circles on the tops, which are actually growth rings. The largest bracket fungus found weighed 300 pounds. Bracket fungi provide microhabitats for insects, spiders and mites.
Once the bracket fungus infects the tree, no chemical treatments will save the tree. The fungus enters through a wound, then rots the inner wood and finally breaks through the bark.
Sulphur Shelf Bracket
Sulphur shelf is characterized by bright yellow and orange-ringed caps. It is found on oak, chestnut, willow and yew trees in large overlapping groups.
Birch bracket, the most common bracket fungus, grows exclusively on birch trees. The fungus starts in a trunk wound, causing brown rot and eventually the death of the tree.
Artist Conk Bracket
Ganoderma applanatum is more commonly known as artist's conk because the surface color changes when bruised by sharp instrument. Usually this fungus is found on beech and poplar trees. Sometimes it can be found on maples, oaks, walnuts and elms.
Turkey Tail Bracket
The turkey tail name comes from its cup-like shape with concentric zones of colors fanning across the shelf. Colors range from shades of browns, grays and even some greens. It is commonly found on maples, elms, oaks, pines and walnuts.