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What to do?

dwheeler at teleport.com dwheeler at teleport.com
Thu Aug 27 01:19:29 EST 1998

In article <1998082603275100.XAA01044 at ladder01.news.aol.com>,
  susan112 at aol.com (Susan112) wrote:
> Dan Wheeler wrote:
> >Has your department looked into cottonwood planting for such areas? In Oregon
> >this are exactly the sites targeted. And the hybrid cottonwood are being
> >mass- grown for pulp, which is harvested in 7-12 years. Seven year old
> >cottonwood are approximately 75 feet tall and about 10 inches diameter at the
> >base. 12 year old material exceeds 15 inches diameter.
> Cottonwood sure goes nuts on growth rate.  What I've heard for intensive
> silviculture with it around here is over by Paducah with Westvaco and down more
> in SE Missouri. They're using irrigation and fertilization, which would help in
> sand deposits after the floods.   I think it could be done here as well
> especially on islands and outside the levees.  Everything else is farmed.
> Distance to market seems to be a factor, but I'd think that barging would work.
> Cottonwood has established easily after the flood, but I understand that it can
> be a bit difficult to manage for natural reproduction since it's so intolerant.
>  I guess if you factor in that we seems to be getting five hundred year floods
> every 5 years or so, you can count on a good seedbed, and a short rotation. :)
> Plus as you say below, they're easy to plant from cuttings.
>  At a local Clackamas
> >County farm this material is being cut down for firewood, and grows a wide
> >variety of fungi, including Morchella (symbiotic with cottonwood, BTW),
> >Pleurotus (better known as oyster), Goat's Beard or Bear's Head (Hericium
> >erinaceus); and probably is suitable for other fungi as well. Interestingly,
> >the stumps are the easiest biomass to inoculate with this fungus. And the
> >trees are grown by simply shoving an 18-24 inch whip into the ground in
> >January-February. Pretty easy silviculture practice, I'd say.
> >
> >Daniel B. Wheeler
> >http://www.oregonwhitetruffles.com
> >
> >
> Firewood?  I would think it would make lousy firewood, but then I'm used to oak
> and hickory  in the fireplace here.
> Morels are the edible of choice in the bottomlands here and they're usually
> abundant in the spring compared to upland sites.  Would the others you
> mentioned occur here as well or are they western species?
> Susan

It would be presumptuous of me to state that they are when I've never been in
Missouri. However, I'd be real surprised if they weren't growing there
someplace. Also, shiitake (Lentinus edodes) grows well on Black cottonwood
locally; there is no reason to believe it would not grow well also on hybrid
cottonwood, which is a contrived cross between Black (Western) cottonwood and
White (Eastern) cottonwood. The real problem with growing mushrooms on
cottonwood is making sure the stump is dead before inoculating. The stumps we
originally inoculated in Clackamas County in 1994 were able to fight off the
initial inoculation if the stump was not girdled of bark at the base also.
Subsequently, many suckers came up from the roots: one of the reasons the
owner now is interested in killing them, since they are adjacent to his

Oyster (Pleurotus) and shiitake (Lentinus) will grow for several years from a
single inoculated log: my production indicates about two crops per year for
every inch in diameter of bed log. Most bed logs are 4-10 inches in diameter,
which suggests a readily available, replaceable biomass. So if you are
located near a major metropolitan area which could absorb, say, several
hundred or thousand pounds of mushrooms each week, mushroom growing on
cottonwood may be a good business, even though to your neighbors you may seem
to be growing cottonwood trees. ;)

Daniel B. Wheeler

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