mycology in agroforestry

dwheeler at dwheeler at
Sun Jan 4 15:51:18 EST 1998

In article <19980103193140885328 at>,
  georg at (Georg Parlow) wrote:
> Ron Wenrich <woodtick at> wrote:
> > dwheeler at wrote:
> >
> > > In the Spring, 1988 issue of Mushroom, the Journal of Wild Mushrooming,
> > > the late Gary Menser wrote:
> > >
> > > In some Northwest forests the value of the mushrooms exceeds the value of
> > > the trees as timber.
> > >
> > > Am I the only tree grower interested in this? Is it possible that forest
> > > managers can't see the forest value for the trees?
> > >
> > > Daniel B. Wheeler
> > >
> > >
> > > -------------------==== Posted via Deja News ====-----------------------
> > >     Search, Read, Post to Usenet
> >
> > You're not the only one interested in this, however, not much data on what
> > types of mushrooms can or will grow in the Eastern hardwood forests.
> > Landowners are largely uninformed, as well as foresters.  Any suggestions?
> >
> > RDW
> i suggest to contact Paul Stamets, a very interesting fungi person. see
> greetings
> georg
> --
> Georg Parlow
> c/o Propjekt LAV
> georg at

I know Paul, Georg. He has some excellent ideas for cultivating mushrooms
on wood and sawdust. To my knowledge he has never claimed to grow a
mycorrhizal fungi.

Cultivation of Grifola frondosa, Pleurotus ostreatus, Polyporus
umbellatus, Ganoderma lucidum, Lentinula edodes and Hericium erinaceus on
hardwoods is a fast method of degrading larger woody debris. However, the
owner must still cut the wood into managable chunks, usually 24-42 inch
long chunks, and still spend time inoculating these chunks. Then the
chunks should be elevated slightly from direct contact with soil, which
usually means ricking the chunks in fairly loose, cross-hatched layers.
(Leaving 4-8 inches between each chunk allows easier picking when the
mushrooms start to produce.)

Doing this economically requires knowing how many pounds of mushrooms
will be produced by a given fungus on a given size log. This yield
(called biological efficiency) varies in each species of tree and each
species of fungi.

Stamets claims in Growing Gourmet & Medicinal Mushrooms that a good
grower should operate within the 75-125% biological efficiency range,
although BE's of 250% have been observed.

Simply stated, this means that for ever oven-dry pound of wood, the fungus
should produce .75-1.25 pound of mushroom.

This is fine as far as it goes. But it is still necessary to grow the
tree first. And in order to do that, you either need a big greenhouse <g>
or mycorrhizal fungi appropriate to the tree species you are growing. In
several cases (matsutake, truffles, chanterelles, etc.) these mycorrhizal
fungi are more valuable than the trees they are associated with.

The ideal would be making money while growing the tree to usable size
(mycorrhizal fungi) and thinning the stands to provide bedlogs for other
fungi (saprophytic _and_ mycorrhizal fungi). This would give the tree
farmer several species of fungi each year as crops, instead of waiting
30-80 years for a single crop of lumber.

This cultivation requires intensive, labor-heavy work. It also requires
thinking in terms of what a stand will look like in 5-10-20-40-80 years
in the future. Effective thinning is also effective long-term planning
for forest/tree health.

Daniel B. Wheeler

-------------------==== Posted via Deja News ====-----------------------     Search, Read, Post to Usenet

More information about the Ag-forst mailing list