I've a got a heavily frost damaged elm in my yard. The bad boys in the attached picture decided to show up this past week. I'm figuring I have a half trunk of dead bark and a half trunk of good bark. The tree will likely be brought down this year or next, we'll see how this winter treats it.
Been doing some searching, and apparently dead or nearly dead elms are great source of wild velvet foot mushrooms, commercially grown as Enoki mushrooms. Well, that is what the InfernalNet claims anyway.
These two may give you more insight and photographical evidence of what mushroom that is.
They confirm my own research. Thanks, Bryant.
Flammulina velutipes, also known as the winter mushroom, velvet stem, velvet foot, enoki, enokitake.
You can be sure if a fungus has a common name there is either something very good or something very bad about it. Or at least something very distinctive about it. The several common names for this fungus show that there are many things distinctive about it. The "winter mushroom" refers to this fungus's predilection for cold weather for fruiting-- I've even found it in February in Wisconsin! "Velvet stem" or "velvet foot" refers to the black fuzzy base of the stipe. Enoki and enokitake are Japanese names for the cultivated variety of this fungus (discussed below).
Flammulina velutipes is a delicious (or at least quasi-delicious) edible mushroom that can often be found when there is nothing else available. It is particularly common on dead elm trees and can often be found by morel hunters during the spring,
Looks like my elm is definitely half dead. We'll see what spring brings, in the meantime - fancy mushrooms!!