This fungus has a blackish-brown to black surface that is shiny, finely roughened to smooth, and sometimes minutely cracked. Tiny bumps on the surface indicate the locations of the fruiting body (perithecia) embedded in a white flesh. The black crusts of this fungus are variable in shape and are up to 10 inches or more long and are very thin.
This fungus forms sheet-like growths on decaying hardwood branches year-round. This is a common fungus on oaks, and maples where the fungus often encircles the branches.
It gives the impression that the wood is burned. When magnified with a hand lens the tiny bump like pores of the embedded perithecia can be seen all over the surface of the fungus.
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