I just had a large oak removed and there is a fairly large stump left. Grinding it up was more than I wanted to spend and then we decided to leave it with a little height to “do something with it.”
So besides putting some planters on it, etc. I’m wondering if I can grow mushrooms from it. I was thinking of possibly hen of the woods or maybe chicken of the woods, but know nothing about how to innoculate it for either of those, when to innoculate it, etc. I’m also open to trying to grow shitake but don’t think people grow them from stumps much. Or any other suggestions. Whatever I grow, I’d like to make sure that it is very easy to identify so I can be sure I’m eating whatever it is I inoculated with, not something that randomly showed up and might be very, very bad to consume.
Any thoughts on what, when and where to get whatever I need? Or is this not worth doing?
I think the French Truffle grows on oak stumps
But it needs to decay a bit first.
When I lived in MD we had an old oak stump that produced patches of hen-of-the-woods from the decaying roots under our lawn, it was great! I didn’t inoculate it, but I’ve heard good things about using these plugs on stumps (you basically just drill holes into the stump and insert them): Grow mushrooms on logs and stumps
I would probably go with Lion’s mane or Oyster. I have a large holly stump (~4 feet tall) that my rain barrel sits on. I have oysters growing on it like mad right now. I need to harvest them before they are snowed under!
It could make a difference if it is red or white.
Went looking for my copy of Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms but can’t find it, must have loaned it out and forgot or something.
Check out Fungi Perfecti for mushroom plugs.
I bought oyster mushroom plugs from them one year. I drilled holes around the edge of an alder stump, ponded the plugs in with a mallet, and covered the plugs with grafting wax. I remember having to wait about 2 months from the time the tree was cut before inserting plugs so that tree’s natural inhibitors did not compete with the plugs. On the other hand, you couldn’t wait too long (e.g. 6 months), because the stump would get colonized by other spores.
I did get a couple of flushes of oyster mushrooms. The limiting factor, I think, was keeping the stump damp. Mushroom innoculation works best in full or dappled shade. It’s a fun project - especially for kids!
I would research hen of the woods (maitake). I find all of my maitake on dying oaks or oak stumps. The flushes are large and they are some of the best mushrooms, in my opinion.
Wow, thanks for all the great suggestions and insight.
@ZombieFruit Although I was thinking mostly of hen or chicken of the woods, I like the idea of oysters and lion’s mane. I’ve never tried lion’s mane so I’m tempted.
@hoosierbanana That book had a lot of interesting information. It made me think I might be able to grow more than one species on a stump this size. And that note about a large stump in NY deliving hen of the woods clusters up to 100lbs for 20 years - that is pretty exciting.
@cdamarjian That is a great site. Unfortunately it looks like they are out of stock right now and just focusing on medicinal mushrooms for the near term. But I did search around and find some folks on Etsy offering plugs as well.
After thinking it over and looking at the resources and suggestions I’ll definitely give this a go. I just need to figure out which type to go with, or possibly if I can grow more than one on the stump. Right now I’m thinking mostly about hen of the wood, lions mane or one of the types of oyster mushrooms.
I would get a 5 pound bag of maitake sawdust spawn, start on the exposed roots and if you run out with a bunch of space left up top do oysters or lion’s mane.
Alternatively… And I’m not recommending this, but if it were me I would think about Laetiporous cincinnatus. I saw Mushroom Mountain has spawn and it is probably my favorite mushroom and more rare than maitake around here. It would be a gamble though, very experimental and I might inoculate the stump in quarters as a way to hedge the bet, in case it fails the maitake will have a better chance to grow into those sections. I think it prefers white oak also, I’ve never seen them on red here, although the variety they have was collected from an American elm so who knows.
ive had good luck with orders from northspore.com FWIW. They do take a while tho to get orders out. cheers
We like oyster mushroons. We get volunteers on our cottonwood logs out here. Thanks to everyone for the great suggestions and info.
Such a wealth of info here!