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chainsaw bar and chain oil with fungus spores in it

paul wheaton

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 17395
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
Somebody asked me about this and I tried to do a search because I was sure that I had already shared my thoughts ...

At one point there was a chainsaw bar and chain oil that came loaded with myceleum spores. The idea was that you could cut down the tree and the stump would then be pre-loaded with stuff to make the stump rot really fast.

But ....

The wood that you want to keep would also be loaded the same way.

Under awesome conditions, you could whisk the new log away, rinse it, cut it, dry it and maybe the spores do well in damp conditions, but do poorly on dry wood. And that's a lot of if's and maybes.

I think that, in general, this is probably not a great idea.

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tel jetson

Joined: May 17, 2007
Posts: 3328
Location: woodland, washington
it isn't cheap, either. scroll to the bottom of this page.

I think in some circumstances it could work pretty well. to grow mushrooms on logs, all cut surfaces are generally either sealed somehow, or kept in contact with moisture. leads me to believe that if any steps are taken to dry the wood out relatively soon, rot won't be an issue.

an example: I'm dropping a Doug-fir (paul's favorite) for firewood. it's not a suckering species, so it won't coppice. I use the spore oil in my saw so the stump is inoculated. I can either swap saws, or just swap oil for bucking the tree up into stove length, so only the very bottom round gets any spores on it. or I don't bother switching and there are spores on each round (waste of expensive spores). then I split it all and stack it to dry. the stump grows some Phoenix oysters for a few years, the firewood dries and grows nothing and I burn it. no problem.

I don't know how effective this stuff is. folks tend to go to fairly great lengths to successfully inoculate logs with mushroom spawn, so I would imagine that the success rate with just spores isn't terribly high. in a thinning situation where a lot of trees are cut to make room for the remaining trees, I could see it working fairly well. the trees are thinned, nutrients are cycled, and the mushroom harvest of the forest is increased (though who knows to what degree?).

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Nick So

Joined: Sep 05, 2012
Posts: 1
I personally think this is a fantastic idea, and that there is very little if any to no risk of it damaging your wood!It's sold at fungi.com and is meant to be diluted in to regular veggie chainsaw oil.

Spores need a lot of moisture to germinate. Whatever they grow on needs to be very moist as well. So assuming your not leaving your logs out in the rain for long periods of time and whatever you are using the wood for it is dry mushrooms or fungus will never grow. But that stump that's still in the ground outside in the elements, it will have a higher chance of growing mushrooms on it and decaying more quickly than if it didn't, if you use spored chainsaw oil.

It can also be used as a sort of preventative measure against the forest blight causing parasitic 'honey mushroom' AKA the Armillaria species of mushrooms that have thick black shoe string like mycelium that takes down tree after tree and spreads quickly.

It may be more expensive, but you can ALWAYS make your own spore prints from wood loving mushrooms that you have either found or purchased from the store or market! There are instructions or rather ratios for making it yourself in paul stamets' book Mycelium Running. I don't have the book with me but will post when I find it. One may be able to find it online somewhere.
chris cromeens

Joined: Apr 26, 2012
Posts: 60
Location: north texas 7b now 8a
I credit paul stamets as the one who introduced me to permaculture. I don't know if he even knows the word permaculture but his concepts on the workings of the forest are very permaculture.

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Rick Larson

Joined: Aug 04, 2012
Posts: 210
Location: Manitowoc WI USA Zone 5
Well, I did this last spring, but I think the dry conditions prohibited anything from happening.


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Devon Olsen

Joined: Nov 28, 2011
Posts: 1044
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
i personally like the idea but one would have to spend more money/time with precautionary steps to avoid the lumber from being inoculated by cutting off the end cutto seperate spores from wood

all that beign said, even without sporulated oil, wood used for lumber is exposed to millions upon millions of spores on a daily basis, if that was enough to cause problems then everyones house wood be eaten by fungi (granted most homes have some sort of fungus feeding on them during certain times such as lengthy rain storms with increased humidity) and collapse

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