Shelf Fungus (Conk) – On Black Locust

Q: I recently had two large black locust trees cut down. They had shelf fungi (conks) growing on them. A friend of the ax man wanted the conks. Do you have any idea what uses one would have for these?

A: I don’t know why they wanted the conks, other than for decoration. Artist’s conk, Ganoderma applanatum, is not the same. This fungus has a very smooth underside, which generations of artists have used to apply their handiwork. The shelf fungus you had, Phellinus robiniae, is not the same thing but might be used similarly.

Artist’s Conk

Black Locust Conks

Phellinus robiniae

conk 1

typical tree conk

typical tree conk