[Agroforestry] A suggested use for poplar (perhaps Lombardy)

dwheeler at ipns.com dwheeler at ipns.com
Mon Sep 26 00:15:16 EST 2005

Small (4-10" diameter) hardwoods, especially those which grow rapidly,
are nearly perfect for growing mushrooms on. I don't know that shiitake
receives much publicity in the UK, but it is popular in France, where
it is known as "champignon parfume".

I do not know specifically that Lombardy poplar would be a good choice
to grow mushrooms on: it would have to be confirmed.

However, I have seen good production of shiitake (Lentinula edodes) on
a hybrid cottonwood (Black cottonwood x Eastern cottonwood), which
grows up to 12 feet a year from a bare 18-inch end scion of a living
tree. The bias-cut end is simply shoved in the ground, and in many
soils here in Oregon, the tree is on its way, especially in low-land
areas near rivers, bogs, lakes, etc.

What do I consider good shiitake production? For every cord of 24-inch
long straight, mostly limb-free sections, I would anticipate at least
$8,000 US in mushrooms at $4/lb. Compare that to whatever firewood is
going for in your area.

For more on the subject, I'd suggest reading Stamets' "Growing Gourmet
and Medicinal Mushrooms", which should include about 8 other possible
mushroom species for cultivating on the same tree specie(s).

Daniel B. Wheeler

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