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Growing Lions Mane on Douglas fir, hawthorne or other non-traditional wood?

 
Posts: 19
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Question for folks who grow Lions Mane, Hericium Erinaceus on logs, outdoors: Have any of you had success with Douglas fir? I am located in the inland Northwest, and struggling to find suitable hardwood trees traditional in Lions Mane cultivation (beech, elm, maple, etc.). I do have a lot of Douglas fir, and have read it is the one conifer which will support this mushroom. Any experiences out in Permie world to support this?

I also have alder, hawthorne, and paper birch trees: I have read that paper birch and alder are not ideal, and have found zero references to hawthorne, but it is one of the harder woods available locally. Any other trees I am not considering you might know of thet would work for Lion's Mane?

Thanks!
 
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Location: Oregon Coast Range
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I also live in the Northwest and I grow Lion's Mane (Hericium erinaceus) on California black oak logs. I used plug spawn from Field and Forest Products in Wisconsin, my favorite mushroom spawn company. Field and Forest says that hardwood logs are best for Lion's Mane, including red oak, beech, sugar maple, tulip poplar, aspen, sweetgum and soft maples. They also sell Comb Tooth (Hericium americanum) spawn as well and they recommend beech and sugar maple for this species. They do not mention any suitable conifers for either species. I doubt Hawthorne would work, but you never know...

Another company from Ohio sells spawn for what they call the Conifer Coral mushroom (Hericium abietis):

http://themushroompatch.com/plugs.htm

They claim this species of Hericium will grow on conifers, including pine. My NW mushroom field guide states that H. abietis is found on hemlock and fir, meaning true firs of the Abies genus. I have seen this mushroom on true firs in the Cascade range and Siskiyous, but in over thirty years of mushroom hunting, never have I seen it on Douglas-fir. That being said, I would also like to find a strain of Lion's Mane that will grow on Douglas-fir logs, since I have tons of Douglas-fir on my property and very few true firs. But I have no experience with The MushroomPatch company- not even sure if they still sell spawn.

My guess is that it would be easiest for you to grow H. ericaceus from plug spawn from F & F on oak logs that are fresh and clean- maybe you could get a permit from the Forest Service to harvest a few oak log branches and inoculate those if you have no oak on your property. Good luck!
 
M.K. Dorje Sr.
Posts: 15
Location: Oregon Coast Range
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While going through the Field & Forest paper catalog this evening, I noticed on their Tree Species Suitability Chart that Paper Birch was listed as "satisfactory" for growing both Lion's Mane and Comb Tooth. So you might want to ask the folks at Field and Forest if one of their strains just might work for you after all. If you order spawn, you might want to try inoculating a few logs each of paper birch, hawthorn and Doug-fir and see which works best.

https://www.fieldforest.net/product/lions-mane-and-comb-tooth-instruction-sheet/instruction-sheets

They have all kinds of instruction sheets on their website, as well as great videos on youtube.
 
Rio Rose
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M.K. Dorje Sr., Thank you for the thoughtful replies. Paul Stamets talks about H. Erinaceus growing on Douglas fir in either Mycellium Running or his other Edible Mushroom Grower's Guide- he also states in the same book that paper birch will work but are the least desirable. Alas, I have a lot of paper birch, and know of no oak around here, either! But I had forgotten entirely about Aspen, which I can definitely find. I bought enough plug spawn from Field and Forest to inoculate two logs, I think I will try Aspen and Douglas fir to start.

H Abietis would be my ideal, thank you for letting me know about the company that sells it. It grows wild around us here too though and I would like to clone a wild specimen if possible, though that will be a bit of a long game! I am a wild mushroom obsessive who is only just stepping into the cultivation realm. I felt fairly certain at the time that the H Abietis I have found in the past was on Doug Fir (living and dead), but now you have me doubting myself. Thirty years is long time to seek and not find! It is only recently that I've tightened up my tree identification game to the point where the various players are starting to seem like old friends: impossible to confuse with anyone else. But it has taken me quite a while to get there! I realize now that many of the trees I thought were one thing during my early hunts may in fact have been misidentified. I will be paying close attention this season, and if I find evidence of Lion's Mane on Douglas fir, I will let you know. Happy growing and hunting to you!
 
pollinator
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Location: Idaho
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The mushroom patch web site says that Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus conerificola) grows well on fir, spruce, hemlock, and oak. I plan to try growing this on our property (N. Idaho woods) along with Conifer Coral (Hericium
abietis) that grows on pine. We're in the long process of thinning our woods so there are a lot of candidates for test logs.
 
M.K. Dorje Sr.
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Location: Oregon Coast Range
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Robin, I've had bad luck in the past with growing Chicken-of-the-Woods on logs but now I  think that the trick with that one is to semi-sterilize the logs by pressure cooking them, or by steaming or boiling. It seems like a hassle, but I think it will help you have a better success rate. Check out this video by Field & Forest about sterilizing logs for Hen and Chicken of the Woods:





 
Robin Katz
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Location: Idaho
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M.K., thanks for the video. I'm pretty sure that my husband will think I've come up with a really bad recipe when he sees me pressure cooking a log chunk!

Actually we're planning to experiment with cutting some of the trees at 4 ft mark above the ground and leaving the stump in the ground and just girdling the bark at the base. The trick will be to inoculate after the sap stops flowing but before other spores take over.  


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