Questions on Shiitake Mushrooms

babalubirdJune 9, 2008

I think I posted this on wrong forum, no responses, so trying again here:

"I'm interested in growing shiitake mushrooms from the little "caps" you can order but have many questions. This is an experiment toward hopefully growing commercially one day.

I understand the "caps" should be put in drilled holes of oak wood but that other hardwoods can be used. Our Hackberry trees here are considered a hard wood and that's what I have available. Question #1, will they do well in the Hackberry wood?

I also understand that the wood should be harvested in the fall when the sap is at its lowest. We need to cut down what little wood we have now in preparing our home for sale. We plan then to take the inoculated wood cords to our farm where there are absolutely NO trees. Question #2 Will this work to harvest the wood now, end of May here and into the heat of summer?

Hope some experienced mushroom growers can advise me. Thanks.


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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

Cut the logs in the spring for best yields, wait for a few weeks for the logs to dry and the antifungal compounds to loose efficacy. Shiitake do well is denser woods, if hackberry is dense try it, if its a weak light hardwood like birch then don't. You should know that fruit wood is renown for how poorly it works at growing mushrooms.

I'm not sure what you mean by caps, in the worlds of mushrooms cap refers to the cap of the mushroom, you could clown then grown shiitake mushrooms from the cap but it takes a good deal of expertise to do, personally I would recommend plug spawn or barring that sawdust spawn, rope spawn and sporulated chainsaw oils are also viable options. Personally if I were you I'd hedge my bet by inoculating some logs with shiitake and some with a more generalized species like Hypsozygous Ulamrus, the elm oyster. Don't forget to water the mushroom logs!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 11:32PM
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Thanks, Brandon, for the good info. I'll have to do some more research on the hackberry trees.

Duhhh, I meant plugs instead of caps. As you can see I am a beginner. :0)


    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 12:34PM
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You know that fresh logs will not adequately support the mushrooms, right? The lignins need to break down some first....depending on species this may take a while. Even in central TX you should be able to find down hardwood logs.....makes better sense than cut down your only trees and not know when they will become suitable. I assume you have a moist shaded area at the farm.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 5:27PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

The lignin is one of the primary food sources for the fungi. A couple of weeks for the antimicrobial chemicals to loose efficacy and for the wood to dry a bit and you are in business.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 5:07PM
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