What kinds of trees can be used for log cultivation of mushrooms?

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.  

Some examples of commonly produced mushrooms that grow on logs and/or wood substrates (rather than manure or soil) include:
  • Shiitake: oaks, elms, sweetgum, beech 
  • Oysters: maple, oaks, mulberry, quaking aspen
  • Lion’s mane or pom-pom: beech, oaks 
Think about selecting your growing logs from trees that you want to thin from your forest stand or on pasture edges, rather than cutting trees that would be more valuable as good timber or veneer.
You can find more specific information in the articles and reference books linked here:
Shiitake Mushroom Production on Logs leaflet from Alabama Cooperative Extension: www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/U/UNP-0025/
Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms leaflet from the University of Kentucky: www.uky.edu/Ag/NewCrops/introsheets/gourmet.pdf
Producing Shiitake Mushrooms: A Guide for Small-Scale Outdoor Cultivation on Logs from NC State University: www.ces.ncsu.edu/fletcher/programs/herbs/crops/mushrooms/pdf/2011%20AG-478_Shiitake_Final.pdf
Shiitake Growers Handbook by Paul Przybylowicz and John Donoghue, Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, 1988