Laetiporus sulphurous ‘Chicken of the Woods’


This is in a friends backyard here in Toronto. They are wondering what it is and what they should do with it. The tree is an older cherry about 6 metres tall. It is close to a shed.


First please note that mushrooms are not a particular expertise of most Master Gardeners. We do not give recommendations on edibility. Before you consume any mushroom found in natural surroundings one should consult a mushroom specialist.

That said, I believe your friend’s mushroom is called Laetiporus sulphurous. It grows on tree trunks and branches and is referred to as a saprophyte mushroom i.e. one that grows on dead and decaying organic matter.  It is often found on decaying oak trees but can occur on other trees.  It is native to North American East and also Europe.  It is described as having a fan shape shelf like structure.  One can identify it from other yellow mushroom by looking on the underside.  It does not have gills but has microscopic pores. Here is a reference: Laetiporus sulphureus. 

The cherry tree is old and probably has areas that are rotting.  Your friend may want to consult with an arborist to determine its health and safety so near the house. Wearing gloves, your friend may remove it by simply pulling it off the tree bark.  Or cut it off with a sharp knife or blade.  Put it in the green bin, or garden waste or compost.  It doesn’t have to be removed