I was walking in my woods yesterday and I noticed this fungal growth on my shiitake logs..it was different than I would have expected to see, but it is dang cold here (34 at the time) so maybe that is why? These logs were innoculated with shiitake dowels in May this year, in the one photo you can see the dowel end with a tiny bit of the fungi smooshing out around it that matches the fungi that is growing.
This doesn't look like what I would think Shiitake fruiting should look like but maybe that is cause it is so cold?? any one know about this or did some other fungi infiltrate my log and my dowels??
Bloom where you are planted.
Quite positive that it is not Shiitake Looks to be some type of "bracket" forming fungus... I would have to assume that this species was already present, before you innoculated with your dowel spawn...
It is generally best to cut down fresh hardwood, at the end of Winter, when the sugar content is highest. Allow to rest until after all danger of frost is gone; taking care to not damage the bark. Once danger of frost is gone, innoculate ASAP!
Avoid direct contact with soil throughout process... If partially burying the log to facilitate moisture stabilization, backfill the hole with wet sand (free of debris).
Don't feel bad ... it happens. I once had over 3,000 shiitake inoculated logs. Made the mistake of soaking them together and ultimately was able to "contaminate" about 90% of my logs. This was a huge loss for me.
Frankly, your "aspen" log looks a bit skunky to begin. Bet it was full of competing fungi when you inoculated it. Best to stick with the cleanest and freshest wood available. But don't give up. When you get the shiitake well established in a clean log the rewards are special. Nothing better than shiitake ... in my very humble opinion. Once I started growing regular supplies of shiitake it pretty much spoiled me for morel hunting.