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Planting a forest for Morels

 
Posts: 43
Location: Gasp├ęsie/BSL, QC Zones 4b-5a
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I've read that Morels tend to grow in old fruit tree orchards that have been abandoned. They also have a tendency to grow near poplars (Populus spp.), ash (Fraxinus spp.), and dead or dying elms (Ulmus spp.). Has Stefan considered the mycological dimension in addition to his chickens and plants? Is there room in his system for a Morel-geared forest garden? Elms and poplars could even be coppiced for firewood or morel fodder without needing to replant.

Moi aussi je suis au Quebec, mais il fait pas mal plus froid ici a Rimouski!
 
pollinator
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Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Caleb Worner : Thanks for posting these questions, I will keep an eye on this thread for the Answers ! For the Crafts, Big AL
 
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Hmmm.... I've only heard about diseased elms and morels. Wondering what others know.
 
Posts: 184
Location: Zone 4 MN USA
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Interestingly, in 4 years at my home I've found morels in 4 separate places, never in the same spot year to year and always on different trees.
I'm surrounded by dead elms in various states, but to me it seems that morels are more environment dependent based on maybe temp, light, moisture, etc.
I found them on the edge of white pine straw, on recently dead elms, silver maples, and cottonwoods.
I would say all were on the edge of clearings, so that might be something to consider.
Just my observations here in zone 4 mn
 
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Morels are notoriously finicky mushrooms. Here in Michigan, locals go crazy over morels and even hold a morel festival every spring. Yet, not every spring are there enough morels to make the festival a true jubilee. I've talked to experienced pickers with up to 10 different 'honey holes' of morels. Sometimes they find buckets and buckets of mushrooms, sometimes nada. It seems that old orchards are more common than new ones for morels, this may be because morels are saprotrophic of old dead fruit wood and fruit roots, or because they form associations with live fruit roots and only sporulate when their food source is stressed as fruit trees begin to die. It is certain that recently-burned areas are also picker's havens for morels as associated tree species (the morel food source) die from fire, and the morels throw up mushrooms to propagate. In sum, I think it is a wonderful idea to innoculate your tree roots with morel mycorrhizae or spores, but I wouldn't expect reliable mushroom production. You might be better of with Wine Caps as a garden mushroom grown in whatever you use to mulch your trees.
 
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I can't add to much to this discussion, except to refer to the expert opinion of Tom Volk on the subject.
 
Posts: 263
Location: Eastern Canada, Zone 5a
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Folks have gone to the trouble of patenting lots morel cultivation processes - https://www.google.com/search?tbm=pts&hl=en&q=Morchella#hl=en&q=Morchella+patents&tbm=pts, and yet they are still not commercially produced. Given the market price of morels, one wonders about these processes. Better to work with winecaps. Of all cultivated mushrooms, they offer the best energy out to energy in ratio. They don't have the mystique of oysters or chanterelles but they are much easier to grow over time.
 
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