FAQ About Log Mushroom Cultivation

Would you like more information about our Log Mushroom Cultivation? We’ve put together a list of the most FAQ’S.

Log Choice and Upkeep

The table below lists the ideal tree species for each type of mushroom as well as other types of wood on which they can be cultivated. Some mushrooms are specialists, only growing on a select few substrates, while others are generalists and will grow on a wide range of substrates. Desirable species will have longer production cycles, larger yields, and higher success rates. Different kinds of wood can also support the growth of mushrooms, although they may produce them more slowly or with different yields.

Oak and maple function admirably in most situations. They provide a lot of nourishment for a protracted, continuous fruiting period thanks to their thick wood. Most mushrooms can be grown on hardwoods, however some species do so more successfully than others. While softer hardwoods, such as poplar or aspen, will myceliate and grow mushrooms more quickly, they might not yield as much or continue to produce for as long. Having said that, soft hardwoods like aspens and poplars are beloved by oyster species!

If you have any branches or saplings, you can utilise those instead. The logs shouldn’t be too big or heavy to make them challenging to utilise. Although it will colonise more quickly, smaller-diameter wood won’t generate for as many seasons as a bigger log. There is no optimal size for logs; any size will do. For drilling techniques, a diameter of 4-6″ and a length of 3-4′ is optimal. These may be up to a foot (or more!) in diameter and 12 to 18 inches high when using the totem approach.

Avoid using old or rotting wood since it is likely to be contaminated with fungus or will be too dry to support the development of mushrooms. Only recently harvested, disease-free wood should be utilised. Although while you can wait up to 4 weeks after cutting the wood before inoculating it, the sooner you can do it, the better. When temperatures are consistently below zero, the immunization window can be extended for many months by layering freshly cut wood with snow to retain moisture until you’re ready to seed in spring time.

Between budding and full leaf out in the spring, log harvesting is not advised. Most of the tree’s resources and energy are used up during this time pushing towards the development of blossoms and leaves, leaving little room for fungal growth.  Trees that are healthy and alive may be cut down for mushroom bolts pretty much at any time of the year. Bark that is still intact is crucial for the spawn run. Also, because the bark is loose, cutting poses a greater danger of injury. Never remove dead, sick, or diseased trees in order to produce mushrooms.

Log harvesting should be coordinated with sap flow to maximise productivity and lifespan of mushroom bolts. This usually corresponds to dormancy cycles. Picking is best accomplished in the autumn, after 13 of the tree’s leaves have turned colour due to leaf fall, and in the winter season to early spring, before the budding enlarge and the leaves emerge. This is when the tree’s sweet sap is concentrated in the wood, supplying nutrients for mycelial development, and the bark should be tight, limiting the possibility of slippage.

In grow zones 8 and above, we recommend protecting logs from freezing temperatures during fall inoculation. Logs can be stored near the ground and covered with leaves, blankets, and tarps, or they can be stored close to the walls of heated structures or overwintered in heated rooms.

For mushroom production, we recommend acquiring logs from a sustainable forester or using sustainable techniques of tree culling.

Logs should be placed in shaded outdoor areas near the ground. They hold enough moisture in temperate areas to colonise completely without watering. It is critical not to allow the log dry out, but it is equally critical not to over-water the wood. Watering may be required during very dry years, droughts, and in desert areas. But, most of the time, no further watering is required.

Most gardeners wait until log has naturally borne fruit once before trying to shock it into producing fruit, you may water the log to make it fruit. Long lengths of time should not be allowed for logs to remain damp outside. Repeated light watering can potentially harm logs and promote the growth of contaminants. If your logs start to seem dry or lose their vitality, a long periodic soak is the ideal technique of replenishing water content.

For trees with rapid development in open canopies as opposed to plants growing in shade, the sapwood portion of a tree is frequently thicker. Trees having more cambium layer than heartwood, especially shiitakes, may produce greater flushes of mushrooms.

Let yourself at minimum thirty days before trying to force fruit again. Shiitake mushrooms are the finest for force fruiting. We advise soaking your logs for no more than an overnight period. Before attempting to forcibly fruit your log, let it naturally bear fruit once (after a rainfall or other trigger event).

The wood will be kept from drying out by a layer of snow. In the winter, logs will be good outside.

Vaccination and Materials


You should not utilise last year’s cut logs or logs with broken bark. A month is roughly the maximum feasible interval between chopping and immunising. After a week or two of being cut, logs should be infected. This permits the tree’s cells to die but no longer enough for the log to dried out or for other competing fungus to develop themselves.

You’ll need a drill with a 5/16″ (8mm) bit to cut holes in the log, a hammer to drive the plugs into the holes, and wax to close the holes for plug spawn. You could find that using an angle grinder adapter with an 8.5mm drill bit speeds up the process if you’re culturing numerous logs.

Use a drill with a 7/16″ (12mm) drill bit and an inoculation instrument to pack the sawdust into the openings for sawdust spawn. If you’re inoculating numerous logs, you could find that using an angle grinder adapter with a 12mm drill bit speeds up the process. Although sawdust may be inserted into the openings by manually, an inoculation tool accelerates the procedure and permits the sawdust to be stuffed more thickly, boosting the success rate of log inoculations.

All of the holes must be closed with candle wax (cheese wax, food grade paraffin wax, beeswax, etc…) to avoid dried out and infection.

You can utilize this log inoculation estimator to determine how many spawns you’ll need according to the dimensions of the log and hole separation.

One 5-pound bag of sawdust spawn ought to be sufficient to inoculate three to four 10-12″ piles using the totem approach.

Plugs are inexpensive for modest jobs and need simply a drill and hammer. Plugs are tough, but they take longer to colonise. Sawdust colonises drilled logs at a rate that is approximately 30% quicker than plugs. They’re helpful for bigger projects, but an inoculation instrument, as well as other tools, are essential if you want to hasten up the process. There aren’t any special techniques required. The sawdust totem approach is appropriate for urban environments or other sites that do not have exposure to a wooded or shaded region.

Harvesting and Yield

The species you are cultivating, the size of your logs, and the surroundings will all have a role. Most mushrooms take about a year to fully colonise and produce fruit on logs of average size in temperate climates that can be anything between six months and two years. Lesser wheelbase logs and softer hardwoods have shorter life expectancy and frequently produce fruit more quickly.

Growth slows during the hot summer. For fruiting, mushrooms typically need moisture and cold temperatures. If you are inoculated in the spring, your first flush of mushrooms may appear in the fall, but it will likely be a full year before the first fruiting appears. If you inoculate in the autumn and can stop the mycelium from becoming inactive, you might see mushrooms as soon as the next springtime, but it’s more likely to observe mushrooms the subsequent autumn.

Yields will differ significantly from season to season depending on the mushroom strain, the type of tree utilised, and the weather.As a general rule, one year’s productivity is equivalent to one inch of log diameter.

With 2-3 flushes every season, a decent output per log is between 14 and 12 pounds per flush. The greatest flushes on shiitake logs often occur in the second and third years of production.

You should plan to wait at least a year for the majority of the species to completely inhabit their logs although the timing of the first fruitings varies. The logs may continue to yield for up to a year after they start to fruit per inch of log diameter.

Two to four years, on average; varies with wood kind, log size, forced or not, balance of rainy and dry seasons, etc.

In rare occasions, you could discover damage from slugs or insects. Just remove that portion of the mushroom. Although certain species, such as deer or squirrels, may nibble on the mushrooms, they often don’t ruin a crop. Everything else will be OK.

Specific to Species

The two varieties of Reishi that are most often grown in the US are Ganoderma lucidum and Ganoderma tsugae. Only Ganoderma tsugae can grow on hemlock.

It performs well in areas that can sustain beds of sawdust, wood chips, or straw, such as along garden walkways. Nope, the development of the Wine Cap can only be supported by substrate that has already been broken down, like sawdust.

Inoculating Hen of the Woods in oak planks is recommended. Following a year of incubation during which logs are stacked in a typical firewood stack, your log should be buried beneath 1-2 inches of dirt. Bury them in a shaded area near a source of rain or water so they may get it. Be on the lookout for Hen of the Woods mushrooms that pop up all year round (it usually fruits during the fall) and mark the spot where your log is laid.


Spawn Inquiries

In a refrigerator, plug and sawdust spawn will keep for 6 months to a year. Mycelium is quite hardy, but the fresher the finer. Put it aside in your refrigerator till you’re fully prepared to administer the vaccine if you don’t do so straight away.

This is quite typical and shows healthy spawn. On mushroom spawn (or yellow for Chicken of the Woods), white mycelium will naturally form. Before using, properly break up your spawn sacks. Use logs that were cut no more than four weeks after the vaccination, too.

The spawn, except as otherwise specified, can be kept in the refrigerator until used. We advise holding off for no more than a few months. Just be sure to vaccinate your logs no later than 4 weeks after they are cut. As nutrients are channelled towards flower and foliage development, and the bark is flexible, we advise against harvesting logs between bud well enough and full leaves out during the spring. For further information, check our article on when to collect logs.

Mycelium, is often white (or yellow for Chicken of the Woods), a coating that resembles mould and grows naturally on mushroom spawn. The main body, or vegetative structure, of fungus is this branching web of threads. A relevant metaphor is that if a mushroom corresponds to an apple, then mycelium resembles an apple tree. It’s usual to notice mycelium extending through your bag, which denotes a healthy mushroom spawn. If your spawn appears green or black, you should reject the culture since it may be infected. For confirmation, get in touch with us.

You may observe healthy spawn plugs with various levels of mushroom culture in the accompanying pictures. The plugs in the first image have very little mycelial development. They may be used without any issues and remain just as “powerful.” The second image shows how the mycelium eventually encircles the plugs as it continues to expand. Although you might need to break apart the plugs within the bag before usage to remove them from the mycelial mass, this is also typical and has no impact on how the plugs are used. To disperse the mycelial clump, compress the bag without opening it. The identical plug bag is seen in the third image after it has been damaged.

Mycelium is frequently fragmented during transportation, which might make it seem less myceliated. So let to settle for just few days so it can heal.

These are completely natural and may be overlooked during the vaccination procedure. Millet! To assist them adhere onto wood, we cultivate our mushroom cultures on a variety of nutritionally cereals.

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