Observation 200624: Morchella Dill. ex Pers.

All burn site morels from 2013 Table top/ Blewett pass, WA fire locales. These were over dehydrated specimens at the bottom of one of our bins. Thought I’d try a ridiculous test… I filled each of the four sections of this plastic salad kit and poured 1 packet of sucrose/quarter teaspoon of salt.

Let soak for two days outside and covered. We then spread all the liquid, old morels and sludge into various places in the backyard. Our old kennel structure filled with pea gravel was the predominant substrate to test. “Inoculated” on 3/14/2015.

I’m assuming this won’t work at all- but if it does, it will prove inoculations are possible in early Spring, March(not only summer in the fire pit, as most attempt.). We’ll see what goes down in the next two months.

I’m hoping by late May, Early June we will see some little cones. As these are all various burn site morels, and very opportunistic, it may prove possible(similar to M. importuna). Snowmelt in the mountains is just occurring above 4,000ft. No Gyromitra yet, or other ascomycete fungi. Usually Caloschypha sp., Gyromitra sp., Peziza sp., and small Clitocybe(C. glacialis) are first on the scene, along with Pholiota highlandensis after melt. When u see these groups of fungi getting old and wilted- You usually are in for a Morchella fest!

Elevation here in Yakima: Approximately 1500ft.

Temp: 50’s Day- 35nights currently.

We will update as things come along. If at all?

Species Lists


1 packet sucrose, 1/4th tspn. salt.
Substrate for Morchella fruiting(mostly in pea gravel and soil around cement slab). After 1st day of spreading the mixture I raked the gravel and surrounding area repeatedly. We had two days in a row of rain starting that day.
Spruce tree clippings, pinecones and needle litter spread(for micro habitat, temp flux, shade, etc)on 3/18/15 Thanks again to Daniel B. Wheeler for the help and advice with the experiment.

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Add Comment
Good to know-
By: Drew Henderson (Hendre17)
2015-03-18 14:45:10 CDT (-0500)

another Mycophile who loves and appreciates all species(not just the tasty ones). The offer still stands if u ever want to get out and tromp w/me in the woods ;)

Thanks again!


Don’t really need a sample, Drew.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2015-03-18 12:28:11 CDT (-0500)

But thanks for the thought.

Just passing along the knowledge of one to another. Learned from a student in Maupin during my first year of teaching. He was the first to take me morel hunting, 30 years ago. Picked 1/3 a gunny sack full of morels that first time, and gave most of them away. Didn’t know about drying morels yet.

Not doing much nature hasn’t already tried, though I kind of doubt nature used sugar in her spore slurry.

My forage days are mostly over now. Spending a lot of time growing poisonous mushrooms now. Poisonous, but good for mycoremediation.

Daniel you are the first-
By: Drew Henderson (Hendre17)
2015-03-18 11:09:55 CDT (-0500)

One to get mailed a sample(or strand, dried) if we get a flush! Knock on wood(and substrate to cause disturbance!). You’re always the quintessential wizard – sitting back guiding here and there when those smart enough to ask you appear… Love your patience and wisdom!

I should have been trying these experiments years ago… Just needed the extra encouragement from someone with (that said) patience and wisdom to see if things that appear completely out of bounds might indeed be possible.

Thanks again(100 times over) for your encouragement-



ps- Why have we not met mid-way between our locales? Maybe A southern Cascade foray is in order this summer? Keep me posted(personal email better for plans).

You are welcome, Drew.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2015-03-18 08:00:20 CDT (-0500)

Considering the speed of growth, might have a flush yet by the end of March. That’s when my morel patch in View occurred. Kind of early, so it’s good that you can look at the site every day, just in case those tasty treats try to grow ahead of time.

Thanks again Daniel!
By: Drew Henderson (Hendre17)
2015-03-18 00:54:06 CDT (-0500)

I knew you would have some good advice with home testing… Remembered you giving me some inoculation tips a few years back regarding truffle sang Ganoderma. The coolest thing was that you never shunned the thought or idea and basically said “run with it”. I have approached fungi so much more with cultivation hypothesis’ in mind every time I head out from your inquiring spirit and encouragement. The wood chip idea totally makes sense- plus all the Spring rains coming early might be just the ticket to get a late May flush.

Hope so!

Thanks again kind sir :-)



Try putting
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2015-03-17 23:10:49 CDT (-0500)

some green Douglas-fir limbs over the top, Drew. I like to chip these to create the morel-growing substrate. The bed will take up to 3 inches deep of fresh-chipped green Douglas-fir limbs to grow in. Adding the sucrose makes sense … sort of. I would have used another source of sugar: sugar. Molasses also works.

Temperatures look OK. Anything close to freezing at nights seems to work.

Beauty bark is another option for substrate: a single 40-lb. bag should be enough.

Dr. Nancy Smith Weber told me she had nearly 100% germination of year-old dried morels. I’d expect at least 80% spore germination, depending on how the dried sporocarps were stored. Holding them in a freezer worked for me.

We probably have Morchella fruiting now at Lewis & Clark State Park, under cottonwood. Will be next month for Douglas-fir morels, or later.

Morels are agressive colonizers. The mycelium can cross a 3.5-inch Petri dish in a single day at 77 degrees F.

Good luck!

Created: 2015-03-17 13:43:33 CDT (-0500)
Last modified: 2015-03-18 15:14:49 CDT (-0500)
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