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-   -   Why no morels this year? (http://www.michiganmorels.com/funtalk/showthread.php?t=19517)

horseygirl May 11, 2017 5:06 pm

Why no morels this year?
I'm and new member and new morel hunter. Actually, last year, while pulling garlic mustard on my property, I basically stepped into a patch of 80+ morels under a dead ash. While I picked most, several were left so spores would remain as well as shaking them out. This year, in that area - absolutely nothing. I only found 5 at about 20-30 feet away.
Any ideas what happened - will they come back again? I live in a suburban area - my lot is an acre- left very natural - no lawn treatment, chemicals. Morels found in adjacent undeveloped acre lot. I have pulled garlic mustard for years and never saw any morels, then 80+ and now practically nothing. :glare:
Anybody have any ideas? I thought about them all winter....
Thanks! J

Debbie May 11, 2017 5:12 pm

Welcome to the board!
Hi horseygirl, welcome to the best little morel forum on the net!

We're glad to have you.

ShLUbY May 11, 2017 7:43 pm

Re: Welcome to the board!
are you sure it's an ash, and not an elm? Either way, the actual fungal organism of morchella is often times mycorrhizal with trees. This is a mutualistic relationship between the fungus and the host (tree). the fungal hyphae live amongst the roots of the tree. when the tree dies, the fungus knows it needs to go elsewhere. So the mushrooms it puts off are the reproductive organs of the fungus, to spread spores to look for new areas to grow! So you only found a few this year, because there was not enough food in the ground to support a large mass of fungus after the tree died last year.

horseygirl May 11, 2017 11:07 pm

Re: Why no morels this year?
I am sure it is an ash but there are also multiple very old sugar maples (75+ years) that are ready to come down - these have quite a bit of dryad saddle. Near these maples is where I found the 5 last week.
Kind of a bummer - as all homes surrounding my house and vacant lot next to me are the typical manicured grass type lots - not conducive for morel growth.

One other question - I haven't picked the 5 that I did find yet - would it be worth while to leave them in hopes of better growth next year?


ShLUbY May 12, 2017 12:24 am

Re: Why no morels this year?
in my experience, not really. Heck, I'm surprised that you found a few near the sugar maples! you could pick 4 and leave one and see what happens, but you could also leave them and see what happens anyway. 5 morels isn't a deal maker/breaker for a seasons harvest! but if you can leave them alone and they look in good condition still, let them grow large and then you'll have a nice meal with 5 large morels :) there is documentation of morels growing for well over 14 days. the larger you let them grow, the more chance you give them to spore out, and then you can pick them anyway!

and lawns are not all that bad for morels. I happen to pick a few in lawns when the habitat is right. Just don't pick from lawns that look "perfect" because often they are sprayed with herbicides and you don't necessarily want to be eating things that can accumulate herbicide residues :)

horseygirl May 23, 2017 7:13 pm

Re: Why no morels this year?
So I decided to leave the few that I found - 10 total in the end - hoping the will spore out for next year - who knows?!

I did just find - in the opposite corner of my yard - about 1 acre away - 2 huge ones - as big as the palm and fingers of my hand. One was buried deep in a mass of blackberry bushes - my hand and arm are a little battered for it! I couldn't resist picking these...should make for a decent dinner.

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