I got an oak log last winter that was inoculated with shitake spores and the holes were plugged with wax. Upon inspection this spring, the wax plugs seem to have been removed/eaten, likely by birds or mice. Anyone experienced this? Should I re-plug the holes or just leave it alone?
Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
posted 7 years ago
Hi, Donna, Do you know when your log was innoculated? We plug ours in early March so a year later they are ready to bear shiitakes. Are you seeing any white at the places where the plugs are missing? Was it sawdust spawn or wooden dowels? We have never had anything eat the wax that we coat the innoculated plug with but something chewed on our tags over the winter. Sometimes I notice some wax missing later but I guess I haven't noticed when it disappears...sometimes some is still there when the shiitakes are producing. I think its purpose is to prevent contamination and hold in moisture immediately after plugging ...I am not sure how long term it needs to be.
I hope someone with more information can answer your question.
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I inoculated a couple of logs with oyster mushroom dowels last year. Almost strait away I noticed that birds were pecking out the wax, I assume looking for insects underneath since it was paraffin wax and not edible.. I ended up having to cover them in netting. Only some of the holes were pecked out so I just left it and sprayed with water a bit more often. They still haven't fruited but there seems to be plenty of mycelium covering the bottoms when I have looked.
Along the lines of the thread title, some lil' bastard critter has chewed some of the bark off my mushroom logs over the winter, even leaving little teeth marks gouged in the wood. The picture below is from February but they remain unchanged, and I am just now getting to writing this post. I also have wax over some of the plugs missing, but from what I can tell all the plugs are still in the logs. I see snow white spots on some of the log ends, like from the shiitake spawn, but I wonder if wild fungal infection or other decaying microorganisms in the wood will affect things. I hope that my plug spawn will be the dominant fungi and my logs will fruit ok. There is spots of black on the mushroom log end also. One of the mushroom spawn plugs I purchased is Ciopinni and they are black, so on those logs it's difficult for me to tell what's what that I see growing.
"Study books and observe nature; if they do not agree, throw away the books." ~ William A. Albrecht