It's a fungus any lawn lover doesn't want to see - mushrooms - and they're popping up everywhere.

While bumper crops of mushrooms scattered across Osakis lawns is causing some concern, for the most part things should be fine.

According to the University of Minnesota Extension Service, the vast majority of fungi are not associated with any lawn-disease-causing organisms.

Mushrooms are the "fruiting bodies" of fungi living in the soil and thatch, noted Bob Mugass, University of Minnesota Extension educator.

He said it's quite common for them to appear during times of moist conditions resulting from heavy or continuous rainfall.

He explained the fungi are living on decaying organic matter in the soil.

"This breakdown of organic matter results in at least some of the nutrients being released back to the soil," he said.

How can you rid your lawn of the offensive growth? Simply knock them over with a rake and remove them from the area.

Fungus humongous

What could be viewed as a fungus takeover is offering an interesting picture at Just Like Grandma's in Osakis.

A plethora of bracket fungi (mushrooms) cover a large portion of a mountain ash tree near the wheelchair ramp of the main house.

Osakis High School science teacher Lee VanNyhuis took a look at the site, and while he specified he's not a mycologist, he offered his take on the growth.

VanNyhuis said some bracket fungi are saprophytes, meaning that they feed off of dead (decomposing) things and some are parasites, feeding off of living things.

Since the mountain ash was a cluster of two trees, with one cut down, he speculated the fungi are likely saprophytes, decomposing the dead part of the tree.

According to VanNyhuis, the brackets seen on the outside are the "fruiting bodies," which release the spores, allowing the fungus to reproduce.

He explained the fungi themselves are composed of small filaments called hyphae that are living below the surface of the tree, therefore, digesting the tree from the inside out.

Whether the fungi will spread to the living part of the tree, he's not sure, but in the meantime it's something interesting worth checking out.