Shiitake Mushrooms Grow on Mulberry?
Answered by: Bruno Pretto
Question from: Elizabeth Sutton
Posted on: April 10, 2007

1. In February of this year we chopped down a very large Mulberry tree. The log sections are about two feet in diameter. Would your shiitake mushroom plugs grow in these logs?

Mulberry is not one of the woods listed as a medium for growing shiitake. [Mushroom expert] Stamets says that fruit woods are notoriously poor for shiitake cultivation. Based on this information we cannot recommend cultivating shiitake on the mulberry unless you want to do so experimentally.

2. We live in a hot dry dessert climate (similar to that of Las Vegas, Nevada.) Would the mushrooms grow here if I put the logs in the shade? Perhaps if I set them upright in a child’s swimming pool in several inches of water, would that help? The logs would also be watered every night when the automatic sprinklers turn on.

Shiitake likes cool climate. It may work if the logs are in some water at their base but it is NOT a good idea to sprinkle them every day. In fact, the watering regime for shiitake logs is to SOAK them -- NOT sprinkle. Repeated sprinkling of the logs will cause the bark to come off and will encourage certain molds to grow on the bark both of which are detrimental to shiitake cultivation. In order to fruit the logs must be soaked through and then allowed to rest in a well ventilated and shady area. This forced fruiting can be done every 6 to 8 weeks -- not continuously.

3. Can children play on the tops of the logs (the cut part) when there are no mushrooms growing, or would that disturb the plugs?

I can’t imagine how children could play on the ends of the logs. However, it wouldn’t necessarily disturb the mushrooms. The impact on the logs could provoke fruiting but not if it was continuous. It could damage the log end and allow bacteria and other fungal spores into the wood. Not recommended.

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