The type of log or tree type to use for cultivation will depend on the type of mushroom you want to grow. Many mushrooms will grow on a variety of hardwoods, i.e., oaks or beech, but some are more specific about what species they will grow on than others. Also, keep in mind that some mushrooms prefer to grow on substrates (sawdust, straw, or composted manure) other than intact wood logs.
Biologically, forest cultivation of mushrooms involves fungal decay of an organic substrate, usually wood. The substrate is the “food source” for the fungus that allows the fungus to grow and eventually produce mushrooms. It is a rotten business to be sure. The process consists of four stages:
- Substrate Acquisition. For the most common forest-cultivated mushroom, shiitake, the substrate consists of wooden logs cut from live trees. The recommended size for logs is 3 to 4 feet long and 4