Common Tarcrust, Diatrype stigma
Diatrypaceae or Tarcrust Family

Large specimen

Forms a black, somewhat shiny crust on dead wood that can grow quite large and even completely sheath sticks and logs. It remains visible year-round, and gives the appearance that the wood has been charred in a forest fire. A wood decay fungus; it can grow on bare wood that has lost its bark, and can also grow under the bark on dead branches and logs. It is especially common on oak and maple wood. The crust is decorated with small raised bumps which show where the reproductive structures (called perithecia) are buried within the crust. Each perithecium has a tiny pore from which the spores are released.

Closeup, showing perithecia
Specimen on branch

Very common in the Park, but rarely noticed by most people.

Easily identified when noticed, by the distinctive black crust with its little warts that mark the perithecia. This is probably the largest fungus in Wildwood. Could be confused with false charcoal (Kretzschmaria deusta), but that forms raised charcoal-like lumps. 

Specimen under bark

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