morels in Eastern Canada

Paul Stewart stewart at
Fri May 19 00:02:17 EST 1995

Here in Prince Edward Island, Canada (~46N Latitude) I found a dozen or 
so morels about 1-2 inches high starting a week ago, in sandy soil 
covered with moss under black spruce trees less than 10 years old. I 
thought they were M. esculenta but on closer inspection they had the same 
radially arranged furrows as M. elata. Is this a rare species? Where is 
it usually found? The short mention in Stamets's recent book suggests it 
belongs to the "black morel" group along with M. angustifolia. Does this 
mean it may be cultured as that species described in his text, in rye 
grass seed cased with peat moss and CaSO4? I put some tissue onto MYA and 
OMYA just in case I find out eventually. Are morels considered 
mycorrhizal? If so, on what roots, of trees?

On a more general line, what is the youngest tree age expected to support 
mycorrhizal mushrooms? I heard trees need to be 30-40 years old, but I 
have found chanterelles under much younger spruce and pine (10-15 
years). Is it possible that the root systems of previous trees after a 
clearcut still support the mycorrhizal mycelia until it can get a 
foothold on younger trees that grow in next? Does this suggest that 
mycelial communities such as morel or chanterelle could be dozens, even 
hundreds of years old? It seems to me that there are never enough of 
these fungi around to replenish or sustain the mycelial network in the soil.
I'm looking for ideas to enhance what's already there but not dense 
enough or whatever to produce fruiting. The morels seemed to explode from 
the ground a few days after a freak sleet storm that left 2-3 inches of 
wet snow on the ground for three days, then just as suddenly melted. For 
more flushes could this be repeated with crushed ice or snow from a local 
rink, dumped on the same spot in a few weeks?

In case all this seems too frivolous to respond to, here's an easy one:

Anyone know of a WWW or other site where I can find back issues of 
McIlvanea the mushroom journal? Thanks all...guess we get morels here 
after everyone else is done with them.

ABIOGEN c/o Paul Stewart
RR #2 Vernon Bridge
Prince Edward Island
stewart at

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