Lawn Mushrooms

Decaying tree roots are often the cause of lawn mushrooms

By: Sandy Feather ©2009
Penn State Extension

Q. Two years ago, we had a large tree removed due to storm damage. Now lots of mushrooms grow in the lawn where the tree used to be. I wouldn’t care so much, but we just got a puppy. He is constantly trying to eat them. The mushrooms are worse during rainy weather, but are evident even without rain. How can I get rid of them permanently?

A. The mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of wood rotting fungi growing on the wood left behind when your elm tree was removed. Even if the stump was ground out, there is a lot of wood left from the tree’s roots. You would have to physically remove all of the remaining wood to get rid of the mushrooms. There is no chemical treatment that will prevent their growth. Since it would be a Herculean task to remove all of the decaying roots, it is easier to remove the mushrooms whenever they appear. You might be able to fence the area off temporarily, until the wood has decayed sufficiently or he outgrows his fascination with the mushrooms.

Lawn mushrooms
When you see mushrooms growing in a lawn
like in these photos, decaying wood is
usually buried beneath them
Mushrooms emerging from an area where a tree stump is buried

While many species of wild mushrooms in Pennsylvania are safe to eat and delicious, there are many that are very toxic.

Never eat wild mushrooms without guidance from an expert!



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