Oak trees grow slowly, so having to take down a mature oak, for whatever reason, is a sad affair. When all is said and done, you are left with lots of firewood and a large, ugly stump. Most homeowners have the stumps removed by a stump removal service like C S Flournoy Inc, because oak stumps can take many years to rot if left to their own devices. However, you can shorten that time considerably by inoculating the stump with mushrooms and you'll get some tasty gourmet fungi to boot.

What Types of Mushrooms Grow on Oak?

Oak is the best hardwood for more types of edible mushrooms than any other wood. Some of these mushrooms are relatively expensive in specialty shops. In fact, seven kinds of edible and medicinal mushrooms will grow on oak. They are:

  • Reishi
  • Turkey Tail
  • Maitake
  • Pearl Oyster
  • Blue Oyster
  • Lion's Mane
  • Shitake

How Do You Implant Mushroom Spores on an Oak Stump?

The best way to inoculate an oak stump with mushrooms is by using plugs, which are dowels that have been pre-inoculated with the fungus spores. To implant the plugs into the stump, you must first drill staggered one-inch holes six inches apart in rows two inches apart. Tap the dowels down into the holes until they are level with the top of the stump, then paint melted beeswax over each hole to seal it. This not only helps them germinate, but prevents pathogens from entering the stump.

How Long Do The Mushrooms Take to Grow?

The mushroom mycelium colonize the wood over a period of 9 to 12 months, depending on the weather and other conditions. They will grow faster when it is warm and humid. Once the stump is fully colonized. mushrooms will start to grow out of channels and cracks in the stump. Simply harvest the mushrooms when they are the appropriate size, which varies with each species.

Does the Stump Need to Be Re-inoculated?

Usually, you only have to inoculate the stump once and it will fruit until it is completely destroyed. The best time to inoculate a stump is spring, but you can do it any time of year. You may have to protect it in the winter in harsh climates.

You can grow hundreds of dollars worth of gourmet mushrooms on one large oak stump, and if you want to try more than one type of mushroom, you can also grow them on some of the logs. If you don't relish the thought of growing mushrooms, or your home owner's association won't allow it, you can always have the stump removed by a professional tree service that specializes in stump removal.