Shiitake substrates

BTInternet NEWS Martin.Askey at
Sat Aug 26 17:24:02 EST 2000

I wrote a joint paper in 1999 on various sawdust subtrates that was
published in the American mycology journal. It essentially found that beech
was the highest producer and the control was hemp straw. Therfore mixing the
two might well be a good way to cultivate.

Martin.Askey at bt

<truffler1635 at> wrote in message
news:8o52te$lal$1 at
> I'd like to begin a thread of shiitake cultivation. Specifically, I'd be
> very interested in others experiences with shiitake cultivation using
> different species of hardwoods or conifers as bedlogs.
> I am aware or have heard of the following species being used for bedlog
> production, or for chips for space bag cultivation. I'm sure there must
> be many more by now.
> Those species I have heard of already, with comment about their
> productivity if I am personally aware of them:
> Red alder (Alnus rubra): very productive, but the bark peels quickly
> unless extreme care is used in handling, and once the outer portion of
> the tree has been eaten, larger logs become very difficult to handle
> without considerable damage. Also, shiitake production is too large: many
> of the mushrooms come out as No. 2's because they are too crowded.
> Western hemlock, Tsuga heterophylla: a surprisingly good bedlog, provided
> that it have been basal pruned several years before, and the bedlogs used
> are not too large. Holds bark well, but mushroom production is poor.
> Oregon White oak, Quercus garryana: Perhaps the most productive of all
> the oak species I have tried to cultivate shiitake on. I remember one of
> the first mushrooms fruiting from a tiny (less than 1.5 inch diameter)
> log which measured over 5.5 inches across, fully unfurled. Nor was that
> the only mushroom the log produced. At least one professional mycologist
> doubted it was a shiitake, and was vociferous in her judgment.
> Black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) and hybrid cottonwood (P.
> trichocarpa x Eastern cottonwood, P. ?): more productive than Eastern Red
> oak but less productive than Oregon White oak or Red alder, in my
> experience. Mushrooms often misshapen, and arrise from odd locations on
> bedlogs in my experience. I would, however, expect Quaking aspen (P.
> tremuloides) to be a good bed-log because of this experience.
> Eastern Red Pin oak (Quercus palustra): used by many eastern and southern
> cultivators accoring to literature I have, but the worst producer I have
> tried.
> Black locust: better used as fence posts than as shiitake bedlogs. No
> production whatever, which surprised me.
> Bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum): better than Eastern Red Pin oak, but
> with inherent problems. The bark peels quickly, hosts many other
> saprophytic fungi, especially Stereum sps, and grows shiitake much better
> as chips than as bedlogs.
> Any other personal experiences?
> Daniel B. Wheeler
> Sent via
> Before you buy.

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