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TOPIC: artillery fungus on mulch

artillery fungus on mulch 2 years 3 weeks ago #2641

Help please. It seems my parents have artillery fungus in their mulch and the tiny black dot spores are all over their siding, fences and windows.

1 Life cycle - When do they pop? Is it just now in spring or all summer long. Are the ones on the wall and fence alive - potentially causing more ?

2 Based on internet advice, we are trying to remove as much mulch as possible from these large beds. Now what? Should we leave it mulch free for a season? Different type of mulch? We don't want to use stones which internet suggested. Have you hear about using mushroom compost mixed with mulch to deter it? Or using large bark mulch?

3. Internet advice seems to come mostly from the States. How common is this in Edmonton? Have you dealt with it?

4. We are also looking for advice as to how to best get them off the wall, fences and windows.

Thanks for your time and advice.
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Last Edit: 2 years 3 weeks ago by Linda Hut. Reason: wrong photo uploaded
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artillery fungus on mulch 2 years 3 weeks ago #2642

  • Martin Osis
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They are a mushroom and they appear to be a birds nest fungi and are fairly innocuous. Pretty little things. They usually remain as a fairly small colony. If you had the artillery fungus, it is quite rare in Alberta, I believe we only have one or two sighting and someone would want to come out and collect some and send it to the Herbarium in Ottawa for posterity.

Fungi are critical ecological partners in the health of our habitat, much more valuable then cats and birds. These fungi recycle wood debris. I hope you would endeavour to get along and co-exist. Fungi exist in ever niche available to them. If you eradicate those something else will move in and occupy the spot. And that something might be much more unpleasant or toxic in nature. Also it does not matter when they "pop", that they are only producing a fruiting body or mushroom, the organism itself is busy recycling the wood.

To keep your fence from decaying you have to seal it from moisture, so a scrape and paint would help. Or something toxic might work as well, the more warning labels the better! Regretfully fungi are more closely related to the animal kingdom than the plant kingdom so what ever you use will be toxic to animals including ourselves.
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artillery fungus on mulch 2 years 3 weeks ago #2643

Thanks for your prompt reply. We had considered that these may be Bird's Nest Fungi but the spores are attached to the side of the house some 15 feet high. It seems like they were shot out - that's why we thought it was Artillery.
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artillery fungus on mulch 2 years 3 weeks ago #2644

  • Martin Osis
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Spores are lighter than air, so when they get air borne they move about extensively. The mechanism that propels them into the air is usually a rain drop. They are also microscopic and there is nothing on your aluminum siding that they can grow or feed on. So I would speculate that the spots are something else or if it is fungal nothing will come of it.

It is a beam of light that triggers the cannon balls which is very cool indeed.
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artillery fungus on mulch 2 years 3 weeks ago #2645

Is there anyone in the Edmonton area that might be able/willing to visit my parents' home in Riverbend to see this fungus. Perhaps it's a rare case of Artillery Fungus - perhaps not - but it's so very fascinating to see hundreds of these spores on the side of the house, fence and windows. We'd love to share it in person with someone.
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