Lu et al. (2002) described a method for identifying Hericium species by PCR, using the primers HT-U1 and HT-L1 which they specifically designed for this purpose. In our hands these primers do not appear to discriminate between tooth fungi and other wood decay species. Therefore PCR primers were designed that discriminated Creolophus cirrhatus from other species (HER2F/HER3R), and which discriminate Hericium alpestre, H. coralloides and H. erinaceus from other wood decay Ascomycota and Basidiomycota but not from each other (HER2F/HER2R). Using the HER2F/HER3R primers together with traditional isolation and direct incubation procedures, the location of C. cirrhatus in Turkey oak logs was mapped. The PCR approach often detected C. cirrhatus in locations where it was suspected to be, based on patterns of staining and decay, but where it was not revealed by isolation onto agar media, emphasising the value of adopting several approaches to unravel fungal community structure in wood.