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Did log inoculation fail?  RSS feed

 
Tim Canton
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hey all I innoculated some fresh cut tulip poplar with oyster mycellium about 3 months ago and I am impatient and suspect a hard cold spell may have killed the mycellium. Is there a way at this point to check and see? can i just dig the innoculant out of a few holes a nd be able to tell somehow or do i need to just wait? Thanks
 
John Elliott
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How good are your microbiology lab skills?

Can you slice a piece from next to an inoculation hole and put it on a microscope slide? Do you know what stain you will have to use to make it so you can see it? Do you have a microscope of sufficient quality with a light source that can light up what you want to see? Once you can see it, do you know how to identify hyphae down to genus and species?

I'm not asking these questions to be difficult. For me, the answer to your original question is also way far up on the learning curve.

A somewhat easier, but less sure technique would be to saw a chunk out of the log and hold the chunk under a black light. Many fungi fluoresce and if the chunk fluoresces, you can go on the assumption that fungi are growing. Of course, that would still leave open whether the fungi that is growing is the one that you inoculated, or if it is something else.
 
M.K. Dorje Jr.
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Tim, in what region do you live?
 
Christopher G Williams
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I've had shiitake and reishi take 2 years to start fruiting. Granted shiitake takes longer than oysters, but reishi is usually faster. There are so many variables, but I think by any measure 3 months is way to early to make a judgement...
 
John Saltveit
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I agree with Christopher Williams. Oysters are normally very hardy, and would survive.
John s
PDX OR
 
Tim Canton
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No my microbiology lab skills are not so great. Doubt i would be asking this question if they were great . I was really just curious if there is a way to tell if the cold snap after inoculation had killed the mycellium. I was not expecting fruiting until fall at least and maybe not until next spring. Ive grown mushrooms before this was just a little earlier than I usually cut and we had a colder than usual couple weeks following that.

I am in the southern Appalachians of North carolina. The katuah bio-region. Thanks y'all
 
M.K. Dorje Jr.
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Tim, if you inoculated the logs in January and just put them out into the "Polar Vortex", I doubt that you'll be getting any oyster mushrooms off them anytime soon! The mycelium from the plugs must have some time to grow into the logs before subfreezing weather sets in. It would be kind of like transplanting your baby tomatoes into your garden in November and expecting ripe tomatoes in December. This is why I always recommend that people start their mushroom projects in the springtime. However, oysters are tough and there is still a small chance that the plugs could recover and begin to grow into the logs this spring.
Is there any white mycelium in the logs underneath the bark directly adjacent to the plugs? If so, does it smell "oysteresque"? The so-called "fragrance signature" of the mycelium is often the only way to figure out which species is actually growing into your logs or substrate. In the meantime, you might want to start some new logs before spring is over. Just my 2 cents...Good luck!
 
Tim Canton
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Well that's what I was a little worried about but at the same time I've heard of folks doing oysters and even Whitaker in dead winter and being ok. I pulled the spawn out of a few holes And doesn't seem to be to much mycellial growth visible yet. It was probably February when I inoculated them
 
M.K. Dorje Jr.
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If the plugs are still white and the mycelium on the plugs looks active, then there is still hope. And February as your starting time would have been way better than early January during the Artic weather. I would leave the logs in a shady, humid place away from any direct sunlight or wind. I usually put my logs on pallets in complete shade and put a blue tarp over the top. It usually takes about 12 months for my logs to fruit after inoculation. For example, I'm eating shiitake today from logs I inoculated at around this same time last year. I hope this info helps.
 
Lance Svenson
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John Elliott wrote: Can you slice a piece from next to an inoculation hole and put it on a microscope slide?


How would you cut a slice out of a log thin enough to look at through a microscope? I have a log I inoculated a few months ago and am curious to see how it's coming along.
 
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