It’s hard to tell from a photo but if it’s honey fungus then it probably isn’t good news for the tree.
I'm fairly sure it isn't honey fungus Liz. Six years ago my ornamental crab apple tree suddenly died and yellow fungus erupted around its base. Pulling off some bark revealed the tell tale white mycelium.
The tree ended up on our November bonfire that year and it was also the year that I met my garden helper whose first job was to dig out all the roots we could find and drench the diggings with some nasty fungicide.
Here are a couple of photos:
It's rather beautiful. Could it be mica cap? It gets its name from the small dust-like particles on the surface. I think that grows near tree roots as well as rotting wood. See fifth picture here.
I think you have hit it Hugh, thanks. There is more of the stuff away from the tree base probably where roots are near the surface. It has already started to wilt and blacken.
So, is the tree a goner? What a pity.
I meant that the fungus had started to blacken as described in the article you cited. The tree itself seems OK and has only just started to drop its crop of rock hard cooking pears. I reckon the tree is about 80 years old and has survived plenty of abuses not to mention what nature throws at it. In good years, it bears as much as 500 kg of fruit. This year is not in that class but I am sure there will be far more than I can deal with even after brown rot and squirrels have done their worst. So far this year I have processed about 40 kg of wind falls into what we call fruit molasses.
Good to hear!
Wow!!! up to 500kg ??
Did you ever try making Perry??
I press a lot of apples each year (mainly for juice to be pasteurised) and these pears helpfully ripen when the apple season is over. I did once press pears but the juice was never much liked. Letting the juice ferment into perry was no better. Turning them into fruit molasses is the only way I use large batches of these pears.
It looks similar to what grows at the base of our street hawthorn tree to no ill effect. Small stalked mushroom with narrow elongated cap?
Probably the same. The caps of these ones did become elongated the following day before beginning to collapse and melt away.