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growing mushrooms on conifer?

Paula Edwards


Joined: Oct 06, 2010
Posts: 411
A neighbour had to put a fallen conifer down, I have no idea which. Can I use it to grow mushrooms on it? Which mushrooms?
Susanna de Villareal-Quintela


Joined: May 01, 2010
Posts: 143
    
    1
I think Paul Stamets has spawn that would do well on conifers.  Chicken of the Woods, Phoenix Fir Oyster, Conifer Coral... I think.  Check-out FungiPerfecti.com. 
Franklin Stone


Joined: Jun 09, 2010
Posts: 152
Depends on the conifer - specifically on how "aromatic" it is. Pines, Cedar and Spruce are strongly aromatic and resist many fungi. Hemlock and Douglas Fir are less aromatic and seem to be digestible by more species (though not to the extent of most hardwoods). I have successfully grown mushrooms indoors on 100% Douglas Fir sawdust. However, adding just a tiny percentage of pine sawdust to a bag has prevented fruiting in all of my tests.

Knowing the species of the tree is quite important.
Paula Edwards


Joined: Oct 06, 2010
Posts: 411
I think I won't do this project, as we are very limited here to get spawn at all, so I really must go into trying to propagate shop bought funghi and then if I have my spawn I must look for some timber. It would be good though to know if the spawn "works" because then I could phone one of these tree guy and swap spawn for a log.
Abe Connally


Joined: Feb 20, 2010
Posts: 1404
Location: Chihuahua Desert
Any edibles that will grow on western Juniper?  I have tons of the stuff, and I could provide a sustainable supply of chips/sawdust to a mushroom growing operation.

There are native shrooms which consume it just fine, but I can't identify them.  I'm wondering if anyone knows of edible species that would do well...


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Franklin Stone


Joined: Jun 09, 2010
Posts: 152
The science of sawdust-based mushroom cultivation is pretty recent. I think most of the innovations/discoveries have been within the past 40 years, (though Asian log cultivation goes back at least a few hundred years). Many professional growers have jealously guarded their secrets and discoveries, or are just too busy to share their information. A lot of what we currently believe to be true may wind up eventually being proven wrong. Most of what we do know has come from Paul Stamet's research in the Pacific Northwest, and so it's biased as to species of trees that live in that region. I've never heard of anyone trying Juniper. (For that matter, I have never even heard of most species of trees that live in Australia.)

Mushroom cultivation is really a pretty cutting edge field, and that means a lot of information just simply isn't available. Sometimes, the only way to find out for sure whether a type of wood will work is to try it. In fact, you might actually be the first person in the entire world to try it!






Chris Kott


Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 796
Location: Toronto, Ontario
    
    9
I didn't see wherefrom you hail, ediblecities, but I know of at least one eastern variety of Chanterelle mushroom that grows in the root structure of short-needle conifers in the Ottawa Valley area of Eastern Ontario, where my family once had a cottage and my grandmother picked mushrooms regularly. Apart from Chanterelles, there was a slimy-capped mushroom whose english name I haven't been able to find growing to amazing size, some extremely fat-stemmed ones with small beige to brown caps smaller than the circumference of the base of the stem, and that is all I can recall for now. If these sound familiar to anyone, I'd appreciate knowing what they are. But in any case, these three types all grew in mixed forest situations, and at least the first grew almost exclusively in the aforementioned conifer. They were pine or spruce, I recall picking mushrooms pushing their way out of the rust-coloured long-needle duff as well, the slimy one, I think.

-CK
dan tura


Joined: Jul 25, 2012
Posts: 17
ediblecities Hatfield wrote:A neighbour had to put a fallen conifer down, I have no idea which. Can I use it to grow mushrooms on it? Which mushrooms?


Shiitake grows also on conifer wood, but you have to wait a year or so for the tannin to vanish away form the wood mass


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John Saltveit
volunteer

Joined: May 09, 2010
Posts: 802
    
  22
There is a kind of oyster called the Phoenix oyster, also called Italian oyster- that grows well on Fir and SPruce.
John S
PDX OR
Abe Connally


Joined: Feb 20, 2010
Posts: 1404
Location: Chihuahua Desert
John Saltveit wrote:There is a kind of oyster called the Phoenix oyster, also called Italian oyster- that grows well on Fir and SPruce.
John S
PDX OR

John, do you know if you have to age the spruce/fir before the oyster will grow on it?
John Saltveit
volunteer

Joined: May 09, 2010
Posts: 802
    
  22
Best trees to use are recently cut, but you should wait 3 weeks to a month before inoculating them, so the trees' natural anti-fungal serums have passed. Once that's done, it's good to go as soon as possible.
John S
PDX OR
laura sharpe


Joined: Nov 17, 2012
Posts: 244
    
    2
just bought a book i hope will answer this question but it comes into my head again just now.

You said wait three weeks. It is midwinter here by chicago, I am buying recently cut limbs. What is meant by wait three weeks. Three weeks after the thaw of spring or three actual weeks after cut?
John Saltveit
volunteer

Joined: May 09, 2010
Posts: 802
    
  22
Three weeks after the trees were cut. If you live in an amazingly cold place like Chicago, there will not be a lot of competing microbial growth while everything is frozen, so you get a little more time. The newly growing mycelium are a little more vulnerable if they haven't been established and it's really cold. THey can be set back some time. Some people wait until there are no more hard freezes, like below 25 degrees F or so. I don't know when that is in Chicago-May?
John S
PDX OR
laura sharpe


Joined: Nov 17, 2012
Posts: 244
    
    2
the traditional last day of frost is may 15...which btw is different from the last hard freeze. In years with mild winters and not much snow on the ground, i count on a full month early but keep covers prepared....butwood does not freeze as quickly as stuff in the ground. If the wood gets warmed up, then it will stay warm.

I had not thought of that concept at all...in the sun with a dark drape on it for a week with the hot suns of early april should warm the wood through.
John Saltveit
volunteer

Joined: May 09, 2010
Posts: 802
    
  22
I would try getting free limbs from Craig's list, freecycle, or whatever you have locally before buying them. I got more than I needed in about a week. Of course, some places have more trees than others. You can also notice neighbors and tree services chopping them down.
John S
PDX OR
Abe Connally


Joined: Feb 20, 2010
Posts: 1404
Location: Chihuahua Desert
I have a lot of pine sawdust we use for our humanure toilet. It takes forever to break down, so it would be nice to seed my compost bins with some mycelium and have them break it down a bit faster. I don't know exactly what trees it comes from, though, probably mostly ponderosa, but could be any number of pine trees. I get it from a local saw mill.
John Saltveit
volunteer

Joined: May 09, 2010
Posts: 802
    
  22
I'm sure that there are some mushrooms that grow well on pine sawdust, but probably not many. Most of the cultivated mushrooms do poorly on cedar, redwood, and pine, as their pitch and scent is naturally anti-fungal. There are some mycorrhizal mushrooms that grow well under pine trees, but I don't know what they are, because I don't grow those kinds of mushrooms.
John S
PDX OR
 
 
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