One of the most identifiable organisms of the eastern deciduous forest, the morel is reaching its peak season in eastern Ohio. This has apparently been a good growing season for morels as I have encountered more than in year past. White morels are commonly found under dead elm and apple trees where their mycelium take up residence in decaying roots. I have found them under decaying tulip poplar and maple as well. This individual was approximately 4-5 inches in height and about 1.5 inches in width. In a week or so the ascus (dimpled cap) will begin to darken and wither releasing spores. One way morels differ from the traditional "toad stool" mushroom is by lack of a protective cap called a basidium which protects spores and allows for a more aerodynamic release.