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I'm pretty sure this is one of those hen mushrooms but what threw me is its growing on a live black cherry tree near my camp. Most of the ones I've seen are always on stumps or rotted logs...



I'm not a mushroom eater but my neighbor is. I didn't want to feed him something that would kill him so I thought I'd ask the experts. Is there any nonedible mushroom that looks like the hen?
 

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Yes, that's a sulphur shelf, also known as a chicken mushroom. Looks like it's in prime shape too for eating. The hen mushroom is known as the hen of the woods which is a brownish or grayish colored shroom that grows at the bases of stumps. I have seen these chicken mushrooms growing on live pine trees.
 

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From what I've read they say its best to avoid the ones growing on conifers and only eat the ones on hardwoods. I don't eat fungus so its of no concern to me, although I did try sheepshead once and it wasn't too bad. My wife does enjoy mushrooms, though. What's the best way to prepare these? Like I've said, I've seen them on stumps and logs but never a live tree so I wanted to be sure. These are growing on an area of the tree the bark is gone after the neighbor backed into it. I didn't realize the chicken mushroom and hen of the woods were two different mushrooms. Thanks for clearing that up.
 

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I've eaten chicken shrooms off pine trees and really didn't notice any difference or suffer any gastric problems. But then again it may affect other people. Alot of the chickens I found were on old dead pine stumps. Most of these stumps the bark was gone already and just looked like any stump. I just cut them up in pieces and sautee in butter with a dash of black pepper. A goggle search will probably give you some recepies. Some people like to add them to soups, and I've even threw some in my homemade chili. Hen of the woods is also known as sheepshead, ramshead and maitake and are a prized find. Some of the coal crackers I worked with would rather have their toenails pulled out with pliers than disclose a secert patch of their hens. Some of them would even sneak out and pour milk on the young shrooms, saying it would make them grow better. Whether this is true or not, I don't know; but I used to hear them talking about doing it!
 
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