The Aspen Oyster mushroom is a late spring delicacy commonly found on dying or dead Big Tooth Aspen trees and their logs and branches on the forest floor. These mushrooms are easily distinguishable by their overlapping layers, whitish pink spore prints and their wonderful anise aroma.
Pleurotus populinus are a pretty cool mushroom. The mycelium hyphae form noose traps deep in the decaying wood where they trap and feed on nematodes (microscopic worms) that are also eating the dying tree. How cool is that! Finding these is also a good indicator that the yellow morels are up as well.
Be careful with these mushrooms as they can look perfectly fresh and clean but inside of them they can and commonly get infested with beetle larvae.
Always tear them in half and look inside. If there are tunnels there are bugs.