Autumn 2017

Autumn 2017

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

tree conks

Sometimes when I'm walking I see something that catches my eye and decide to follow up on it. 

Tree conks are a fungi that grows on trees.
While quite interesting to look at and often pretty, they are a sign of rot and decaying wood in a tree.
The above conk is very near the ground on this tree in a local park.
From what I've read, this tree could be rotten inside and in danger of falling.

This next tree has a lot of conks on it.
It is next to the ditch near here.
It was a beautiful red maple that died and part of it came down in a wind storm so it was cut off.

I was so taken with this old tree stump and it's conks I decided to follow it up a different times and seasons.  
In the summer the conks weren't as visible due to brush and weeds growing in the ditch but when the leave came off in fall I discovered the conks.

November 2012

The conks are growing all around the bottom of the tree.

First snowstorm December 2012.

After an ice storm in December 2012.
They looked kind of pretty with the icicles hanging off them.

If you see conks growing on trees on your property, it might be wise to have a tree arborist look at it.  The tree might be diseased and rotten inside and in danger of falling on your property, a neighbour's, or even a person.  Even if they are pretty and interesting to look at they could be a danger to you and your property.

Have you ever seen a conk?  It's a funny name isn't it?

Have a great day!




  1. i like to think that they are for the fairies to climb up the tree with. now wonder where i learned that? i don't remember. ha. ha!! ( :

    neat shots.

  2. Great photos Pamela. The first photo looks like a beautiful white sculpture of petals on a flower and the next two photos look like mother nature built little knick-knack shelves...that's what they remind me of. The photos in the snow look like little miniature seats. Really interesting nature photos. I love these they're GREAT!

  3. The Conk made for some fabulous photos . . . amazing . . .

  4. The photos are all fascinating. I've never seen conks before. What an impressive naturalist you are!

  5. I've seen many conks before but never knew they were called conks! I spent summer
    time in the Adirondacks of New York. We always called these conks - fungus. We were so elated to find them. Dad would hack them off (usually a dead tree that was down) with an ax or a hatchet. My sister and I would use a nail or stick and scratch a picture on the white side,with the date of that particular summer. Then we would let them dry.We were thrilled. It was very exciting to find a fungus.

    Pamela, these are fabulous photos. I love the different seasons. You photograph beautiful pictures of nature! I enjoy them so much. Thank you.


  6. Great shots! I especially like the conks with the icicles hanging from them.

  7. Lovely images but I did not know they were dangerous. We see them often while walking. They are such lovely sculptures.

  8. Whimsical!! Love the 'time lapse' sequence, too. This reminds me of Tolkiens' Rivendale, home of beautiful elves. :)
    HAPPY Spring,

  9. I had no idea these were called conks. I see them often in the woods. Very informative post, as well as creative photography!

  10. I have seen a lot of conks but had no idea that it meant the tree was rotten. Love seeing the different seasons with your stump. : )

  11. How neat that you have documented the tree with its conks in all seasons! Do you also have crafters who use the conks in interesting ways for their art? Somewhere in this house I have a burned engraving done on a conk.

  12. I was sure they were part of the fairy and gnome world. I had a story book called "Pookie" as a child, and fungus and toadstools and the like were their homes and tables and such like.

  13. We call them shelf fungi here but I kind of like your name better. Love the icy ones!

  14. I've never seen a tree conk, but I love your shots of the icicles hanging from them. I will certainly be looking out more for these. Chel x

  15. Pamela
    We have a lot of fungi here in our woods. I have never heard them called conks. I'm wondering if that's an Eastern thing.
    I collect the ones that are dry enough to
    display, just because I love to bring a little bit of nature inside.
    I love the photo with the mini icicles hang from the 'conks'!

  16. Nice photos, Pamela! I've seen these but never knew what they were beyond fungi. It's good info to know that the tree they grow on my be damaged inside and ready to fall. In NYC there were always sad deaths with every storm because of falling tree limbs.

  17. They are weird shapes and I have some growing on my old tree near my back door but it's lovely shade and I wouldn't want to lose it but it is dying.

  18. Pam...I never knew what they were called...I always thought they were of the mushroom family...And I am very sad to say, that a few of our 100 year old Maples at the cottage...have conks...I couldn't bear to cut them down...but we do have a tree guy in every other year, to do maintenance on them...thinning out etc...Now I am scared they are going to fall on my dear cottage!!!
    I will look and see this summer, if we get anymore "conks"...

    Linda :o)

  19. Great post. I've photographed those things before, but never knew what they were. I didn't know they meant the tree was in danger. I like all the different season shots.

  20. I have never heard the term "conks". I've always just called them fungi! You got some great seasonal shots! Love the icicles!

  21. Hum, lovely post and great pictures. I have been thinking about making gnome homes about the garden this year as I need another interesting eye popper in the gardens and I have been on the look out for this "conks" as you call them. I've only called them tree fungi before.


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