Hen of the Woods?

Discussion in 'MichiganMushrooms.com' started by DanP, Oct 12, 2020.

  1. DanP

    DanP Premium Member

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    Question for those on the board. Has any one or can anyone say they have started
    hens on oaks from cuttings from cleaning hens and putting the trimmings around
    oaks. I hauled north this weekend, cuttings form the 12.5 pounder I found down state
    and added it to oaks on my property up north. looked for older trees. I just wondered
    if any one has done it or am I wasting my time? This is a mushroom that is cultivated and
    the paper bags I saved thing in they did spore out.

    We were pretty dry and found nothing new. I did run the dog in one spot that was loaded I
    think with old Honey's that were in a 6 year old cutting. You could smell mushrooms walking in the
    area and there were big spore prints around all the clusters. Cant say I had ever seen that on
    that scale in the woods before.
     
  2. DanSS26

    DanSS26

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    Cannot verify it works, but certainly will not hurt. I don't know how long it takes to go from spore to plant. For the last 2 years I have been cutting off a few fronds and placing them around the tree pore side down on dirt. Hopefully I start seeing more around those trees.
     

  3. Thirty pointer

    Thirty pointer Premium Member

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    Probably no different than morels i have dumped wash water in many likely spots the last 40 years and only 2 spots have they taken and i find some every year .Sometimes i get a one year flush then nothing .Same with puffballs .Mushrooms are picky .
     
  4. DanP

    DanP Premium Member

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    I know there are none know where we dumped them but rather than toss the cuttings. If it works will be nice to have a private property spot. My hidden secret spots now have others that pick them and I now always seem to be a day late. Though when I found them, may have been someone else's honey hole!
     
  5. HTC

    HTC Trophy Husband

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    Not sure if this applies to the wild spores but I have been learning to cultivate both chickens and hens with a commercially purchased spore on pressure cooked (yes cooked) red oak logs. From the time I inoculate to mushroom production is 18 months minimum. I say minimum because I cut the trees in March of a given year and do not expect mushrooms until September of the following year. I could cut, cook and inoculate in January but the mushrooms still are not coming until the following September. There have also been logs that I thought were failed but then blew out at 2 1/2 years.
     
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  6. CWlake

    CWlake

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    are you cooking your own logs to kill all the other fungi before you inoculate? That must be a big cooker.
     
  7. Oldgrandman

    Oldgrandman Woods and Water Rat Premium Member

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    Key in on the words: Parasitic & Saprobic below, hope they link from here for you. Else-wise I left the page link. I tried this on some maples in my yard, I mean I get a chicken every year on a big cherry tree! But nothing ever happened in my yard.

    I USUALLY-not always.....ever find them on black oaks that are for the most part alive and well. In fact there are a few of my oaks in some spots that blew apart that no longer host hens.....but they do chickens now, and only now?!? I swear I don't get these crazy bastards.

    I have found some on dead stuff, not many and they don't repeat for me.

    https://www.mushroomexpert.com/grifola_frondosa.html

    ____________________________________________________________________
    Grifola frondosa


    [ Basidiomycota > Polyporales > Grifolaceae > Grifola . . . ]

    by Michael Kuo

    Grifola frondosa, sometimes called the "hen of the woods" and the "maitake," is a soft-fleshed polypore recognized by its smoky brown, wavy caps, which are organized in large clusters of rosettes arising from a single, branched stem structure. It is usually found near the bases of oaks, where it causes a butt rot. It is similar to Meripilus sumstinei (which has larger individual caps, smaller pores, and surfaces that bruise black) and to Polyporus umbellatus (which has more clearly defined individual caps and stems). Microscopic features will also help separate these species.

    Regarding the putative "medicinal" properties of this mushroom: I am sorry to put it this bluntly, but this mushroom is not going to cure your cancer, nor any other ailment you may have—and if someone has sold you a product based on the assumption that it will, you have purchased some snake oil from a witting or unwitting charlatan. The only health benefits associated with consuming Grifola frondosa result from the exercise involved with hunting for it in the woods. There is no legitimate scientific support for the idea that mushrooms are medicinal. None. There is only pseudoscience, bad science reporting in the mainstream news media, and very wishful science reporting in the alternative health media. For further information, see Nicholas Money's "Are mushrooms medicinal?" (2016).

    Description:

    Ecology: Weakly parasitic on living oaks and other hardwoods; also saprobic on decaying wood; causing a white butt rot; fruiting near the bases of trees; often reappearing in the same place in subsequent years; summer and fall; widely distributed east of the Rocky Mountains, rare in the west. The illustrated and described collections are from Illinois.

    Fruiting Body: 15–40 cm across; 10–30 cm high; composed of multiple caps in a rosette, sharing a branched, stemlike structure.

    Individual Caps: 3–14 cm across; more or less fan-shaped or deltoid; dark to pale gray-brown (often with vague concentric zones); yellowing with old age; finely velvety or bald; with wavy margins.

    Pore Surface: Running down the stem, often nearly to the base; lavender gray when young, becoming white and, with age, staining yellowish; not bruising; with 1–3 angular to slot-like or nearly tooth-like pores per mm; tubes 1–3 mm deep.

    Stem Structure: Branched; whitish; tough; often off-center.

    Flesh: Firm; white; unchanging when sliced.

    Odor and Taste: Mild; pleasant.

    Chemical Reactions: KOH negative on flesh and surfaces. Iron salts negative on cap and flesh.

    Spore Print: White.

    Microscopic Features: Spores 4–6 x 3–4 µm; ellipsoid; smooth; hyaline in KOH, often with one large oil droplet; inamyloid. Basidia 25–30 x 6–8 µm; clavate; 4-sterigmate. Hymenial cystidia not found. Hyphal system dimitic. Clamp connections present on generative hyphae; absent on skeletal hyphae.
     
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  8. HTC

    HTC Trophy Husband

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    Yes, both chickens and hens do not like to compete so the logs get sterilized. It is decent sized cooker but not huge? Guessing 12" inside diameter by 16" high. I cut the 10 - 11" diameter by 14" long. The logs then go into a special plastic bag made for the cooker....feels like an oven bag. The top of the bag gets pulled through a plastic collar with a piece of foam in the center. Once done cooking and cooling, saw dust spore is put into the bag, put collar and foam back on and leave it in a warm dark place for 3-6 months. Bury the logs in the fall. For hens leave the top of the log sticking above ground by an inch or so. Chickens bury just beneath the surface of the ground by an inch or so. Then keep them watered every so often.
     
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  9. CWlake

    CWlake

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    this is very interesting, Ive been reading books on growing your own but have not been successful. Does the cultivated hens taste equal to wild? Are you making your own spore dust? Or do you buy the spore in a syringe?
     
  10. HTC

    HTC Trophy Husband

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    Taste is exactly the same but they do not grow as big as their wild cousins....half the size at best.....but you can have as many as you want. You will also find new friends you never knew you had, lol. I also grow lion's mane, oysters and "she-tak-a's". (Had to spell it that way because there is a bad word in there...when spelled correctly)

    I buy everything from here, good, helpful people to work with.
    https://www.fieldforest.net/

    Sorry for the hijack OP.
     
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  11. Petronius

    Petronius Staff Member Premium Member Mods

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    Do you sell any of the mushrooms that you grow?
     
  12. HTC

    HTC Trophy Husband

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    No, I mostly preserve for my own use and give away the rest. I give away a lot of oysters....I run three strains, one spring, one summer and one fall so I am always knee deep in them. Oysters are by far the easiest to grow.
     
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