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Offline5stringsteve
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Pre-treating logs to fortify them?
    #26690146 - 05/23/20 01:04 PM (1 month, 19 days ago)

Hello,
I'm new to this forum, but have dabbled in mushroom cultivation for about 10 years. Sourcing the right wood at the right time has always been a challenge. The most convenient time to inoculate logs, along with other garden chores for me is in the Spring. And the weather often brings a strong wind storm this time of year--as it did just last weekend--bringing down healthy branches and whole trees. So I just procured oak, maple, and willow this past week. I plan to grow Shiitake, Oyster, Lion's Mane, and Chicken-of-the-woods (as well as Garden Giant, Nameko, and other Oysters in beds on woodchips and/or straw).
The problem I foresee is that this latest batch of fresh wood has come down as the tree is in it's leafing out stage, which is purported to be the absolute worst time to harvest logs for cultivation. (FieldForset.net has a chart indicating this, and they specifically state to avoid harvest during the leaf-out stage) I believe this is mostly due to a depletion of sugars and other nutrients in the inner bark area.
There is probably more to it, but I've often wondered if the logs could be soaked in a solution that could re-introduce these missing nutrients. I actually did manage to make use of some left-over maple sap years ago when inoculating oak logs with shiitake plugs, and they produced fine, but I have no idea if it made any difference.
So while I have a couple of weeks to wait before inoculating, I wonder about concocting some solution of sugars, minerals, and perhaps a tiny bit of chlorine bleach to soak the logs in. I figure this could fortify the logs with nutrients that would benefit the mycelium, while the chlorine might inhibit molds and other bad stuff, yet dissipate/evaporate by the time I would inoculate.
So has anyone tried this, and if so, does it work at all, or is this just another one of my ill-conceived notions?
Thank you for any ideas or input.


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OfflineDigitalRhizae
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Re: Pre-treating logs to fortify them? [Re: 5stringsteve]
    #26690298 - 05/23/20 02:27 PM (1 month, 19 days ago)

I've never done log culture but I think its asking for contamination without a proper means of pasteurizing. Why not chip the wood and make artificial logs? If you want to go the bleach route it was suggested many years ago that a 200:1 ratio of water to bleach is effective at killing molds but doesn't harm established mycelium. I think there is some post RogerRabbitmade about using bleach for pasteurizing. Ive done bleach dunks for 30 minutes before and it at best slowed down the trichoderma i was trying to control.


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Offline5stringsteve
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Re: Pre-treating logs to fortify them? [Re: DigitalRhizae]
    #26696945 - 05/26/20 02:23 PM (1 month, 16 days ago)

Pasteurizing is not ever done on logs that I've heard of, and I'm certain it's not needed in my case. I only mention bleach as as a sort of short-term preservative to keep whatever nutrients that I would be re-introducing, from spoiling from molds or other unwanted microbes.
I'm just trying to re-introduce those nutrients that would have been present had I harvested the logs at the ideal time period of Winter dormancy. Having tapped maple trees for sap and syrup production, I believe some sort of simple and very dilute solution that includes some kind of sugar and some trace minerals would be all that is needed. I've heard that yields can be considerably lower with wood harvested during leaf out, so to soak in some kind of simple solution before inoculating seems like a relatively easy fix in theory. In practice, though, there is likely to be a down side, so I'd rather see if and how this could/should be done before going out on that limb. I may just go ahead with a trial run and report my results if others are interested.


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OfflineDigitalRhizae
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Re: Pre-treating logs to fortify them? [Re: 5stringsteve]
    #26698024 - 05/26/20 11:10 PM (1 month, 16 days ago)

I think pasteurization isn't required with logs because they are relatively sealed from the bark, except for the cut ends. But what I was getting at is that by artificially introducing sugars into the logs it is more likely to also introduce bacteria and other fungus from the sugar solution.

 I would think that if you were to do this some sort of pasteurization would be required, be it heat or chemical.

If I recall correctly sap from a birch tree is a 400:1 sugar to water content and sugar maples are 200:1, as a reference.


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Offline5stringsteve
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Re: Pre-treating logs to fortify them? [Re: DigitalRhizae]
    #26706830 - 05/30/20 11:59 AM (1 month, 13 days ago)

Good point to pasturize the solution.
I can easily boil up some sugar-water.
I was hoping to get some input on any minerals or nutrients that might replenish whatever might be missing since the tree leafed out, or just whatever might help give the mycelium a better environment to grow in.
I'll do some searching...
Cheers


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Offline5stringsteve
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Re: Pre-treating logs to fortify them? [Re: 5stringsteve]
    #26721880 - 06/05/20 02:54 PM (1 month, 6 days ago)

Just to give an update, I had some fertilizer kicking around and decided to use it. It's a product I happened to get from Stark Bros called "Tre Prep". (I would prefer to use an organic product, that's what I had on hand.) It has NPK values formulated for trees to grow and flourish. So I figure what's good for the tree might also be good for the mycelium. And since these nutrients would be sucked up and used by the living tree via the roots, my soaking the logs in a solution with these same nutrients should be a similar enough process of absorption to get a similar result.
In theory anyway...
I dissolved just 1/4 cup of Tre Prep in warm water along with a 1/4 cup of dextrose (corn sugar I had that I use as priming sugar for home brewing). I think bleach might interact with the fertilizer, and it seemed unnecessary, so I did not use any. I added the dissolved mixture into a big rain barrel--larger than a 55 gallon drum, but not totally full--so maybe 60 gallons total.
I have no idea if my proportions are too strong or too weak, but they seem like a safe guess, and the wood hopefully will absorb a concentration that is helpful, or at least not harmful.
I actually soaked 4 oak logs AFTER inoculating with shiitake plugs and wax-sealing. I'm continuing to soak un-inoculated maple and willow logs as I wait to receive sawdust spawn for Oyster, Lion's Mane, and Nameko.
I plan to perhaps have a control group of logs that receive only water with no sugar or ferlitizer to see if there is a noticable difference between the groups. If I do that, and have any definitive results to share, I will post them here, although that won't likely be at least until the Fall of 2021...


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OfflineDigitalRhizae
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Re: Pre-treating logs to fortify them? [Re: 5stringsteve]
    #26722331 - 06/05/20 06:53 PM (1 month, 6 days ago)

I'm not a plant pathologist or anything but I am pretty sure that soaking dead wood in any NPK (especially chemical) fertilizer is no where near the same as watering a living tree with it. The tree, bacteria in the soil, fungus etc convert those base chemicals into other compounds, sugars, carbohydrates, minerals etc via photosynthesis etc into living tissue.

If your goal is to replenish what was lost from the tree due to it using those stored nutrients to make leaves I really don't think a base fertilizer will accomplish that goal. I'm not saying it won't work, as fungi do feed on nitrogen and sugars, but it's just not the same process. I think  soaking the logs in a sap of the same species or in a nutiernt solution that has been broken down by bacteria would be closer to the process that living trees accomplish via photosynthesis and other processes.

A link for reference https://sciencing.com/how-do-plants-get-protein-13428186.html


Edited by DigitalRhizae (06/05/20 07:09 PM)


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OfflineForrester
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Re: Pre-treating logs to fortify them? [Re: DigitalRhizae]
    #26722432 - 06/05/20 07:53 PM (1 month, 6 days ago)

I feel like you're overthinking it OP, the mushrooms will grow fine on dead wood. 

:shrug:


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Have some medicinal mushrooms and want to get the most out of them?  Try this double extraction method.


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OnlineDutchMyco
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Re: Pre-treating logs to fortify them? [Re: Forrester]
    #26722624 - 06/05/20 09:47 PM (1 month, 6 days ago)

Over thinking indeed, but gets me wondering what would happen if you drill plug holes, but pour potassium nitrate in some and plug others close to it. It's used as stump remover by speeding up the rotting process. Might give bigger flushes while burning trough the log faster instead over more years. Or just invite other species.
Would do some research before actually eating though, some species can accumulate nitrates in their fruiting bodies, not sure if any of the species you mentioned is one of them.


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OfflineForrester
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Re: Pre-treating logs to fortify them? [Re: DutchMyco]
    #26723418 - 06/06/20 07:50 AM (1 month, 6 days ago)

Might be an interesting experiment if you didn't intend to eat the mushrooms. 

I think most types of mushrooms accumulate chemicals they come across, or at least have to process them in some way that affects them.  Nitrates are horrible :puke:


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Have some medicinal mushrooms and want to get the most out of them?  Try this double extraction method.


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Offline5stringsteve
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Re: Pre-treating logs to fortify them? [Re: Forrester]
    #26730113 - 06/08/20 11:39 PM (1 month, 3 days ago)

Thanks for your input.
I will have a some control logs that didn't receive the solution to compare with.
I kept the concentration quite dilute, and especially with the already inoculated and waxed shiitake oak logs, I limited the soak to only 8 hours.
Most of the soaked logs will have  many days, if not weeks while I wait to receive the spawn before I inoculate. So yeah, it's a gamble. I doubt there will be any conclusive results, but hopefully some good mushrooms will come out of it.


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InvisibleBabuFrik
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Re: Pre-treating logs to fortify them? [Re: 5stringsteve]
    #26733807 - 06/10/20 10:40 AM (1 month, 2 days ago)

Quote:

Forrester said:
I feel like you're overthinking it OP, the mushrooms will grow fine on dead wood. 

:shrug:




I am in alignment with Forrester. Here are some things to think about:

Gourmet species of fungi are doing this in the environment without any supplementation. You will find them on long dead trees fruiting their hearts out with no human intervention. Their natural state is to live off of the cellulose, lignin, and trace minerals in wood. Adding additional nutrient sources encourages other organisms that are better suited to take advantage of those sources.

The amount of nutrients flowing through the xylem, phloem and cambium is not very large and so you are not losing much at all with the different season. Such a trivial amount is not worth changing the technique over.

One of the more important reasons you do not want to harvest so late is due to the generation of anti fungal compounds. Those can be taken care of by resting the logs an extra 2 weeks.

Logs are often inoculated with 50+ points. At that number the spawn is going to quickly take over the log sugars or no sugars.

Log growers have been at this for a long time and no one that I know supplements their logs. That is not in the scope of this style of growing.

I have inoculated hundreds of logs cut from all seasons and they fruit consistently in their inoculation groups. Sometimes I get a set that take 1 or 2 extra weeks but nothing dramatic.

It sounds like you are overthinking. If you want to have fun with a grow that is one thing but try not to get in your own way if you really want to get into log growing.


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Edited by BabuFrik (06/10/20 11:41 AM)


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Offline5stringsteve
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Re: Pre-treating logs to fortify them? [Re: BabuFrik]
    #26791677 - 06/29/20 11:17 AM (14 days, 50 minutes ago)

Overthinking? Whatever. But it's really not about that.
I've read from more than one source that yields will be smaller and lower overall when using wood harvested in that time frame.
Farmers amend soil all of the time with fertilizer or otherwise ways to optimize the growing conditions. The addition is so simple--not even a change of "technique", just hydrating logs with some potential nutrients.

So I have a little experiment going here to find out for myself.
It's way too small to produce conclusive results, but I'll do it for my own curiosity, not an exercise in "overthinking". Sure it may be naive, and I'm less experienced (don't know what 50+ points even means, or xylem, but you sound really smart) so that's why I came here--in the spirit of curiosity, sharing, and experimentation, not dogma.
Cheers...


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OfflineForrester
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Re: Pre-treating logs to fortify them? [Re: 5stringsteve]
    #26792234 - 06/29/20 04:19 PM (13 days, 19 hours ago)

Wow, sorry if I offended.  Good luck with your experiments :thumbup:


--------------------
Have some medicinal mushrooms and want to get the most out of them?  Try this double extraction method.


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Mushrooms, Mycology and Psychedelics >> Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms

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