The study lasted but a single week, but burn morels can fruit for weeks or even months during the first growing season after a fire (although in this instance, they scientists observed only “incidental” morel finds in the eight weeks after their sampling).
It IS true that other morels may pop up after a burn. They may grow under burned aspens or cottonwoods. They may be in the Midwest growing in a deciduous forest after a burn. They may be in someone’s yard after a fire. But it’s highly likely these are a different morel species that simply responds well to the disturbance caused by fire.
Well, the area burned on September 1 and 2, 2013, after forest managers set a fire a kilometer from the plot to control the spread of the much larger Rim Fire. Picking morels is hard work but someone’s got to do it.
Another inquiry we ran across in our research was “Where can I find a burn Morel?”.
1 Burn morels can be found in broadleaf tree burns (where no conifer trees are evident) 2 Other burn morel species exist East of the Rockies 3 Burn Morels will grow in a heavily logged area. (we are looking for the evidence of this).
When is the best time to hunt for morels?
If you waited to hunt until after the second warming, your chance of finding morels diminished. As a general rule, it is best to start looking in early April, and then continue to hunt through mid-May. Dead elms are often morel magnets.
Best time May through June. Morels are one of the most easily identifiable. Mushroom found in Wisconsin. Generally the growing season in Wisconsin starts around the end of May till the middle of June.
Fresh morels have a short growing season, so be sure to check back in late winter or early spring to see what’s available. However, dried morels and frozen morels are available year-round. When buying fresh morels, look for mushrooms that are plump and without dry stems.
When are morels in season?
They have a short growing season. Morels are spring mushrooms that can be found between March and June, depending on climate, weather, and elevation.
If you live in the Deep South your morel season will start in March and end sooner. It you’re in the Mid-South or Midwest, April through May is usually prime time. For the upper Midwest and Northeast, May through June is ideal mushroom hunting season.
In early spring, morels tend to pop up at lower elevations first and work their way up as temperatures rise. Disturbed ground, clear cuts and wildfire burns all tend to precede a boom in morel growth. So it’s important to know how morels and other mushrooms relate to their environment.
When should you pick morels?
The best time to pluck morels is between April and May. Morels grow best and mature during the spring months, this is when you will find morels in abundance. To understand whether a morel mushroom is ready to be picked, you need to look at its stem and the maturity of its cap.
A past student of mine has a knack for finding morels. He favors foraging creek and river bottoms with sandy soil, seeking areas where sunlight hits. He finds morels at the edge of woods or fields, sometimes around stumps where more light reaches the ground, but never deep in the woods.
You could be asking “How hard is it to find morels in ground cover?”
One answer is it is much harder to see morels when ground cover is abundant, but such cover can indicate rich, moist soil that can be productive for mushroom hunters. A past student of mine has a knack for finding morels.
1) Collect morels only from areas away from pesticides or heavy metals sources. 2) Do not mix other mushroom species with morels when collecting. 3) Don’t collect morels that look bad such as old, discolored or decayed parts.