This tree meant a lot to me over the years. Growing up it was the highest tree that we could climb. I climbed so high up and remember the wobbly feeling as gravity felt that it had less of a hold on me. The view was beautiful, peaceful, serene and meditative. One year, they cut the limbs off so people couldn’t climb it. I suspect that these big arm wounds on the tree is how it got inoculated with oyster mushrooms in the first place, that’s how it happens. It’s almost as if a tree gets a mushroom infection by exposed skin, just the same as what happens to a human who gets an infected cut.
I’ve had some great hauls from this beautiful tree. It’s provided me and many friends with lots of delicious and medicinal mushrooms. Did you know that this commonly sold mushroom grows in your back yard and is also being shown to have medicinal effect on the body? “Pleurotus ostreatus [oyster mushroom] extracts may inhibit cholesterol biosynthesis, as well as having potential anticancer and immunomodulatory activities” *. And since mushrooms consume hydrogen and carbon they can break down lethal hydrocarbons (environmental pollutants) into harmless substances, as has been shown with Paul Stamets work, and with the mycoremediation project.
I hope that one day we can see the ecosystem as something that shares with it an incredible amount of sustainable resources if met with the right awareness and attitude.