Identification of lichen or fungi.
Attached are photos of the Hawthorn tree on which the fungi is growing, my questions are 1. Is it harmless? 2. Should I just let it rot naturally or cut it down? 3. Will it spread to the rest of the hedge? I look forward to your reply thank you victor adams
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
This is the start of the turkey tail mushroom, or Trametes versicolor. It will not harm living wood. This is here because the tree is already in the process of rotting and is mostly dead. This is never the cause of a tree's death but a symptom of another disease that has progressed to the point of tree death. It is likely that the rest of the tree will follow suit and that the soil is contaminated already. Other trees may contract the issue but such is nature. It should be replaced by a species that cannot contract this particular disease.
There is no need to interfere with this process, as this mushroom is doing its job.