Unwanted Mushrooms

I so wish some one can help me with this awful problem. About 4 years ago I had to have a huge Norway Maple cut down on my front lawn. (A strong windstorm had blown most of the branches down onto my roof and porch.) The wood cutter at my request left wood chips in the hole left by grinding down the stump. I didnt know that was the wrong thing to do. I filled the remainder with soil and compost. Everything i have planted in the space has died. Last spring I covered it with sod. It died. The circumfrence of the arid area is getting smaller but it is infested with rock-hard mushrooms that look like chili pizza. The last advice Ive gotten is to plant a southern magnolia, a sumac, and Carex ornimental grass. I did that yesterday. I was also told that the plantings will need more nitrogen than usual because the wood chips suck nitrogen out of the soil. When I dug down a foot to plant the magnolia, there was perfectly good soil with many earthworms. Could it be the soul of the tree that has come back to haunt me? Cause I dont know how to get grass to grow in that spot. Here a shot of the mushrooms. How can I make them go away. If you click on the "sizes button" you see a close up of the top and bottom sides of these darn mushrooms. I would greatly appreciate all advice. Thanks, Dorothy
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cardarch/sets/72157622244145345 /
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 14 Sep 2009 14:14:36 -0700 (PDT), Dorothy Iams

Actually that is usual and what stump grinders typically do, if you're lucky... some just leave a mess. You need to be patient, it can take up to ten years for a large maple stump to totally decay. If you can cover the area with a large planter or even a table, something to shade and keep it moist the stump will decay quicker.

Could be those additions are what harbored those fungi spores, especially since you never saw them previously... where did the soil and compost come from? Sometimes decaying stumps will act as a host for spores already present... not anything you can do about that. It's near impossible to eliminate fungi, anything you do to rid the area of them will prevent anything else from growing there.... it's best to let them simply run their course, many appear only every so many years... perhaps those that popped up will be gone once the stump is completely composted. Typically fungi fruiting bodies are very short lived, they will probably be gone in a few days. It's difficult to believe that you can't get anything to grow in a spot *near* where a healthy maple was growing... naturally you are not going to get much else but a few weeds to grow atop the stump and the immediate surrounding area, the roots will extend quite a distance from the stump. Unless you are willing to call in a backhoe to dig up the entire stump and root system and till in amendments to the whole area then you will just need to wait. I had a very large crimson king Norway maple removed some seven years ago and still grass won't grow atop the stump during dry spells... I just don't look at it... I think of it as a couple square feet of lawn I don't need to mow. Be thankful it's maple and not cedar. I planted a copper leafed beech some 20 feet away and it's doing great.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/14/2009 2:14 PM, Dorothy Iams wrote:

If you must really eliminate the "mushrooms", dust the area with soil sulfur and then dig it in about just an inch. Sulfur is a fungicide, and the "mushrooms" are fungus.
However, sulfur will slow the composting process going on in that area since composting depends in part on fungus. If it were my own garden, I would leave the fungus alone. Eventually, all the wood chips will be compost; and the fungus will then stop growing.
In the meantime, add a high-nitrogen fertilizer to the area. Not only will that replace the nitrogen that is tied up in composting the wood chips, but it will also speed the composting.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 14 Sep 2009 14:14:36 -0700 (PDT), Dorothy Iams

The fungus is a good sign you have rich organic matter and the fungus helps the decomposition of the tree reamins. That's good. Rather have mushrooms than termites. I can see your fungus would not win a beauty contest, though.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.