Does mushroom picking damage or encourage the Mycelium?

Robert D. Darby darby at
Wed Nov 22 21:42:21 EST 1995

On 21 Nov 1995, Richard W. Kerrigan wrote:

> In addition to picking (in the strict sense), one might consider other 
> related impacts (soil compaction, organic horizon displacement, etc.).  
> The matsutake research station I visited near Sonobe, Japan, restricted 
> foot traffic to well-defined paths which were minimally used.  -- Rick
I have been photographing, creating works of art, culturing, and gathering 
mushrooms for 25 years.  Regarding the matsutake I can testify that 
destruction of the surface areas with such things as garden rakes will 
destroy an area.  When the moss they typically fruit from is raked back 
and left to dry out, they will not fruit until the moss returns taking 
years.  Also the mycelium on the surface is exposed at this time and 
dries out sending god knows what message to the growth below.  They might 
move a few feet away the next year but generally the same army of rake 
preditors will return and rake back further, until there is no moss.  I 
know an area near Seattle where this was done for decades until there is 
no moss at all--nor matsutake.

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