I will be coppicing some trees this coming winter. I want to use some of the wood for mushrooms! I am leaning toward purchasing Inoculated wood plugs to put in the logs.
I will be dropping some Mulberry, and Bradford pears. I may decide to cut some undetermined variety of columnar Maple as well. I think the largest diameter will be 8” while most will be more like 3” to 4”.
What mushrooms would work on these wood varieties, and how long should I cut the logs? Any other advice?
Check at fungi perfecti or other mushroom spawn sellers to check and see if those woods are good for growing mushrooms.
Most of the logs I use are either hickory or oak (nut trees work very well for most mushrooms) if you want chicken of the woods you would need a conifer wood.
I grow oyster, shitake and lions mane on oak or hickory and they do very well.
I like logs I can pick up so mine are usually in the 6 to 8 inch diameter range and I only make them three feet long.
I cut and inoculate as soon after as possible because I have so many different spores floating around on buzzard's roost that if I waited the logs would be compromised.
This is my first year inoculating. I have heard so many stories about people having trouble with it, but in my situation if you follow the "recipe" your success rate will be excellent. Dehydration seems to be the common failure.
There are a two easy starter species that have a wide variety of wood stocks, oyster and shiitake. Oyster is the champion, it is very aggressive. Secondly we live in luxurious times, and there are many strains available that tend to fruit at different temperatures.
I am ordering from Ashville Fungi because they have done some awesome work to make wide season mushrooms possible. All of the info is in one place on here. Its almost as good as a spreadsheet. There are other warm strains available from other sources. I am starting exclusively on those two species because I am still very much learning and watching. There are several good sources, for equipment I use stuff from Field and Forest, the speed drill they offer is exceptional but not necessary for dowels. I am also a fan of the book from Mushroom Mountain it is a good resource for cultivation. They have a good warm season oyster I can't wait to get my hands on.
If you really get into it you can raft inoculate, which is not as hard as I initially thought, I will have to take pictures of my setup when it isn't raining. This way you can expand your spawned logs about double with good (but not perfect) specificity. So you have to be more careful when harvesting. Short version is that I just use an axe to take a strip lengthwise off the donor log, and a complimentary strip off the recipient log. Then lay them up under leaves in the shade. The donor log will not likely fruit while the spawn is expanding, its using energy to colonize the new log. If you do a few layers of logs it goes faster, i.e. they are getting colonized from above and below in more places circumferentially (which is the rate limiting step in inoculation in my experience).
Standing on the shoulders of giants. Giants with dirt under their nails
Location: Officially Zone 7b, according to personal obsevations I live in 7a, SW Tennessee