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Where do I find wild edible mushrooms?

2011 February 24

First and very important question that every person inspired for wild mushroom hunting asks himself is: “where do I find wild edible mushrooms?”. Of course, there are more questions on this topic but I will take them one by one.

Wild Edible Mushroom ForestIt is essential to know where to look for wild edible mushrooms if you want to be a successful wild mushroom hunter. We all know that majority of mushrooms grow in forests (for a time being I do not consider those growing on the fields). But you see, there is this thing – not every tree in forest makes a mycosis with fungi (mushrooms), especially edible ones! So, mushrooms grow in symbiosis with specific trees and that is one of reasons why to find wild edible mushrooms is not that easy. I would say, the trees and climate define what types of wild mushrooms will grow in the forest.

Before going mushroom hunting it’s necessary to do some preparation. The first task on the preparation list should be investigation of the forest type (what trees grow there) within a reachable distance. From my personal experience, the best combination of trees would be fir trees, oaks and birches because only these trees are making the soil suitable for growing the most delicious Boletus fungi (I will describe them later).

Whenever I pick a mushroom I pay attention to the types of trees and their concentration in the area. It’s good when the forest consist of a proportional mixture of fir trees, oaks and birches although there could be places with higher concentration of one of those trees.

The trees prepare the soil where fungi pores will be able to accommodate themselves. If you are among the spruce and pine trees the ground will be covered by their needles. You would mostly find yourself in the shadow of these tall trees whose bottom branches are missing or have no needles. The ground would look dry. If you step on this ground it feels elastic and soft as if you have stepped on a sponge. If there is enough space between the trees and sun can get through the ground will be covered by green moss. To find wild edible mushrooms among spruce and pine trees it’s better to go there after series of rain followed by warm days.

If you are among oak and birch trees the ground is heavily covered by autumn leaves, broken branches and dead matter, grass. You often find high grass on the edge of a birch forest. Here and there you can see sun spots as sun rays go through the tree’s heads. Often there are some bushes of wild raspberries around. The unforgettable aroma of fresh ground and fungi invites you to look around those trees and among the grass, giving a hope edible mushrooms are close. You just need to look carefully.

More information on where to find each particular type of edible mushrooms in “How do I pick wild edible mushrooms?”.

As a conclusion I would like to say that there is no certain region or a fixed place with highest amount of wild edible mushrooms. Instead they grow here and there and every year it’s different. They may appear unexpectedly in a place where they were not seen last year or years before. Mostly, wild edible mushrooms hunting is about knowledge of the forest and your luck. And that’s why I love to look and find wild edible mushrooms!

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