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Woods and Water Rat
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I am glad Winter showed up. Not only for the moisture but the cold and ground cover. Sure be nice to have a "normal" transition into Spring for once. A little on the cooler side after the start, and a tad wetter than normal. I've had some really good seasons since 2003, but I have not since picked to the magnitude of the harvest I (and friends) got that year.

Was an old adage I remember (but not from where?) that it is 7 years between great seasons. I am starting to think that was the 100 year season of morels and I may never witness it again. Though as a kid one year in the 70's we hauled em out of the woods in mass quantities too, ridiculous actually. But then there was a higher land to people ratio so who knows. It was popular back then too, so maybe I have had two 100 year seasons and should just STFU and appreciate it!

I don't want to see any March morels this season. Any guesses? I am applying this to the black morels btw. Seems like a decent white variety season is a lot more common than for the darks.
 

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For sure more decent seasons for white variety, rare to get a bad one. We do not have blacks in my area, but most years are good for whites. But I have had many bad seasons for blacks in northern Michigan.
 

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Gotta be better than last year.

Yep, we always say and hope that don't we? At least with the hard freeze then the snow there will be less ticks hey?
 

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Woods and Water Rat
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
How does a timber harvest, specifically Aspen or popple harvest, affect morel production?
Done for a couple decades has been my experience. Even had it go downhill and eventually to $#!+ in areas nearby that were left alone. Not "always" but all too often. I really only have a few spots that aren't molested yet but a couple have the red X marks on the trees..... :mad: and they are smaller and more widely known about.

Whoa whoa whoa. I thought snow fall had to do with yellows as well
My comments are about the black morel, because I prefer the black morels. By the time the whites are on I am mostly done myself having spent a couple weeks vacation already. As long as I get one good bag of them every year I am satisfied on those. Obviously they are effected by the WX too, but it doesn't ruin my season like a poor black harvest does.
 

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Done for a couple decades has been my experience. Even had it go downhill and eventually to $#!+ in areas nearby that were left alone. Not "always" but all too often. I really only have a few spots that aren't molested yet but a couple have the red X marks on the trees..... :mad: and they are smaller and more widely known about.



My comments are about the black morel, because I prefer the black morels.
I had been picking yellows for years before I ever had a black. Then went to northern Michigan to pick blacks. I had seen many people post that they prefer blacks. I was disappointed because the blacks were much milder tasting than the yellows.

The only time I had bad years for yellows was when we had a dry April and May. That doesn't happen very often. Never was able to correlate snow fall for yellows.
 

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Woods and Water Rat
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I had been picking yellows for years before I ever had a black. Then went to northern Michigan to pick blacks. I had seen many people post that they prefer blacks. I was disappointed because the blacks were much milder tasting than the blacks.

The only time I had bad years for yellows was when we had a dry April and May. That doesn't happen very often. Never was able to correlate snow fall for yellows.
I assume you meant ^^^ the blacks were milder than the whites? I think they have distinctively different flavors, I definitely do not dislike the whites, and I wish everyone liked them better LOL!

The whites do deep fry better and also hold their size better when sauteed, but they are often not as moist and hard to preserve the way I do it. Cooking them down in their own juice and freezing. I like to cook them together for sure. If it gets much worse for the darks I will shift to the white varieties. You can bet your sweet bippy on that!

Yeah, seems like a mild (or too warm) and dry Winter is a black killer, and a dry Spring, is bad for both. The Spring sucks up moisture so quickly. I could drone on for hours with my theories, thoughts, and experiences......
Good luck out there man!!!
 

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Yep, we always say and hope that don't we? At least with the hard freeze then the snow there will be less ticks hey?
Last year was the worst morel season in my history..

I finally gave up on deet products and switched to spraying my clothing with permethrin. Haven't had a tick on me in 2 years. I can't praise that stuff enough, it just flat out works and works good.
 

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First year for me using it and and sure does work! I just spray the insides and outsides of my pants legs, I can "pick" off any of the jumpers.
EDIT, that's for Ticks not Morals!
 

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How does a timber harvest, specifically Aspen or popple harvest, affect morel production?
What creates a morel habitat?
How much is the morel we pick (a fruit of sorts) in relation to what grows below it?
Soil temps. Amount of moisture in the soil. And what symbiotic relationship(s) exist?

My example may differ from others. But a decades long producing stand of trees that were clear cut resulted in a couple morels the following year. And conditions effected the soil as it dried out that summer.
Plus the duff on the ground ,vs a decomposing layer each year and new bark slip on a varied rate.

I find thigh to wrist diameter popples better hunting. Older stands too. Soil matters much in such stands . And one stand with similar age can be a bust for blacks , while another prolific ,given the year.
But saplings or clearcuts , I seldom peek in anymore.
Maybe the edges for stray whites , but the colonies of blacks have/favor an environment far removed from recently timbered sites, in my opinion. Too much sun. Too warm too fast. Too dry. Organic content changes , (does P.H. too?).
Bark slip is not what it was. And dries quickly. Leaf layer fails . It's no longer an annual drop.
Snow no longer holds as it did.
(Often snow compressed still damp underneath leaves were prominent on a black hot spot. When leaves started to "lift" from drying , it was time to start checking for emerging blacks. Eastern exposures first. And in open areas adjacent , things were already waking up a week or two earlier. Not happening in a clear cut due to sun exposure all day vs a couple hours in the morning...)

A soil loams ability to hold rain and snow melt factors. It's a porous loam. But organic enough or based on slow draining content it's different than compacted of other loam types.
Being careful with my weight (and I'm a lightweight) I left depressions in the ground in favorite/best producing sites.
That's a special condition not found many places.

So , it's a big combination to have a great morel spot. (For blacks anyways).
Changes in the environment following a long evolution to have that prior favored environment , changes production....

A pocket of a few can be easier to find than an extended colony sometimes.
I favor an extended area that produces.
Change of timing can be found in and around it. A very interesting study.
Full sun very long though , like a recently well logged area .... Mehh. I'd rather not.
Unless you're finding morels there!
 

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I have a area that is close to the back yard that produces once in a while. For that past 2 years I have blown the maple leaf cover off after the freeze up to warm the ground. Has not fired up YET, but try as I must. Did that to another spot that produces (big whites) 10 gallon bucket every third year and seems to make no difference. If I took a 50 gallon drum of warm water applied in the middle of a warm day it would probably produce. This spot is under White Pine and White Cedar but was the farm trash dump a 100 years ago. This is down in the lower thumb so they are not like the wilds up north.
 

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I've always had an interest in foraging for shrooms but never found a mentor or sidekick to learn the ropes. The DNR had a course for newbies but I'm sure that won't be available for a long while due to today's climate. Any suggestions ??
 

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It is rough but once "you get the eye" it becomes easy except the miles involved!
 

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I've always had an interest in foraging for shrooms but never found a mentor or sidekick to learn the ropes. The DNR had a course for newbies but I'm sure that won't be available for a long while due to today's climate. Any suggestions ??
You will be able to find lots of info looking back here. Also the Michigan Morel board has a fairly active following.
Biggest thing is just getting time in the woods. Good luck, shroom on.
 

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Woods and Water Rat
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yup, cutting is a death sentence. Though I did have a few spots in clearings, like old mossed over fields adjacent to woods, that year after year did produce enough to keep me coming back every year until the nearby woods were cut. That is rare though, but around Mesick they used to grow anywhere to some extent it seemed. I even picked sole black morels a few different times in those CCC pine rows. One of those fields that they always came up in was as you left that woods.

Your info pretty much matches mine @Waif

What creates a morel habitat?
How much is the morel we pick (a fruit of sorts) in relation to what grows below it?
Soil temps. Amount of moisture in the soil. And what symbiotic relationship(s) exist?

My example may differ from others. But a decades long producing stand of trees that were clear cut resulted in a couple morels the following year. And conditions effected the soil as it dried out that summer.
Plus the duff on the ground ,vs a decomposing layer each year and new bark slip on a varied rate.

I find thigh to wrist diameter popples better hunting. Older stands too. Soil matters much in such stands . And one stand with similar age can be a bust for blacks , while another prolific ,given the year.
But saplings or clearcuts , I seldom peek in anymore.
Maybe the edges for stray whites , but the colonies of blacks have/favor an environment far removed from recently timbered sites, in my opinion. Too much sun. Too warm too fast. Too dry. Organic content changes , (does P.H. too?).
Bark slip is not what it was. And dries quickly. Leaf layer fails . It's no longer an annual drop.
Snow no longer holds as it did.
(Often snow compressed still damp underneath leaves were prominent on a black hot spot. When leaves started to "lift" from drying , it was time to start checking for emerging blacks. Eastern exposures first. And in open areas adjacent , things were already waking up a week or two earlier. Not happening in a clear cut due to sun exposure all day vs a couple hours in the morning...)

A soil loams ability to hold rain and snow melt factors. It's a porous loam. But organic enough or based on slow draining content it's different than compacted of other loam types.
Being careful with my weight (and I'm a lightweight) I left depressions in the ground in favorite/best producing sites.
That's a special condition not found many places.

So , it's a big combination to have a great morel spot. (For blacks anyways).
Changes in the environment following a long evolution to have that prior favored environment , changes production....

A pocket of a few can be easier to find than an extended colony sometimes.
I favor an extended area that produces.
Change of timing can be found in and around it. A very interesting study.
Full sun very long though , like a recently well logged area .... Mehh. I'd rather not.
Unless you're finding morels there!
 

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Woods and Water Rat
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Here we go, 60 degrees is coming soon down here. I don't like it. At least stuff isn't ahead yet, and hopefully it is short lived.....those nights in the 50's better not be too many in a row! Actually I hope they don't even happen!!!
 

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I've always had an interest in foraging for shrooms but never found a mentor or sidekick to learn the ropes. The DNR had a course for newbies but I'm sure that won't be available for a long while due to today's climate. Any suggestions ??
Take a look at the Midwest American Mycological Information (MAMI) site. There is a study guide that you can use even if you don't want to get certified. I might be going to one of the Metro Parks around the end of April or beginning of May. Need to check out some new spots.

 
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