This is either a fungus or a slime mold, or possibly slime flux. A few questions for you-
How fast did this appear? What kind of tree is it? Has it grown or changed since you submitted this question? If you poke it with a stick is it soft or firm? Also, does it appear to be wet or dry?
Please attach a picture of the whole tree with branches, if you can.
Thank you. I will watch for your reply.
Sorry it's taken me so long. Today was the first chance to get back to the park. Here are a few more pics. Also the thing in question is dry and crunchy harder on the outside easy to break. There are no leaves to help.
Thank you for the additional information and pictures. This doesn’t appear to be butt rot since those form distinct fans with pores on the lower surface. This could be a dried out slime mold, or a sap flow which has been colonized by fungi or bacteria known as slime flux.
For a positive ID, send these tree and slime mold pictures to MSU Plant Diagnostic lab. They may ask you to submit a sample.. Email images and where, when you took them to—- firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is the website- https://www.canr.msu.edu/pestid/
If the tree produces leaves this spring, another picture may help, too.