morel habitat

Bruce Smith bruce.smith at
Thu Apr 3 20:33:13 EST 1997

        My mushroom hunting friends and I found our first yellow morels
yesterday (April 2) in middle Tennessee. We were surprised because the 
black morels were never abundant this year despite adequate rain.  It must 
have been the cold snaps in late March that kept them from fruiting the way 
we have seen them in the past. At any rate, when we collected our first 
Morchella esculenta we made plans to go straight to our primary morel site 
which we visited today. The hunting was completely in vain at the first 
three spots we searched. Then we tried a new plot where we immediately 
started finding small, amber morel heads poking up through the gray leaves. 
There were not many of them. As I scoured the ground I was thinking how 
familiar I found this kind of place to be. It was fairly steep. There were 
numerous, medium sized tulip poplar trees. The fallen leaves were thick 
under my feet. Mayapples, jack-in-the-pulpit, and trillium were nearby. The 
morels were scattered, not bunched in patches like Morchella elata seems to 
be. So if you would like to find morels for yourself, now you know the type 
of place to look for. 
Bruce Smith

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