Want to inoculate logs for cultivating specific mushroom species but not sure which trees to choose? Here's our guide by mushroom species.
Shiitake: Best arranged vertically, or stacked log cabin style. When stacked log cabin style, it is best to put on blocks, pallets, or stones to deter slugs from hiding in places where the logs would be touching the ground. Shiitake logs benefit from a strike to initiate a good flush. Strike the ends with a baseball bat or wooden mallet after soaking, but avoid damaging the bark.
Best Tree species: Oak (red or white), wild cherry, Sweetgum, American beech, paper birch, black birch, alder.
Lion's Mane: Patience! Depending on the wood species it can take 1-3 years for it to start producing. To get the largest fruiting bodies, use logs at least 10" in diameter. The bigger the logs, the larger the fruiting bodies. Partially bury logs vertically for best results.
Best Tree Species: Short term - Tulip Poplar, Maple, Willow, Paulownia, Tree of Heaven Long term - Elm, Oak, Chestnut, Black Walnut
Oyster: Cultivate on logs from 4" to as large as you can safely handle. The largest logs can be inoculated totem style. You can also inoculate stumps with oyster mushroom spawn.
Best Tree Species: Soft woods are best for oyster mushrooms! Tulip Poplar, Maple, Willow, Paulownia, and Tree of Heaven are some of the most successful tree species to inoculate with oyster mushroom spawn.
Phoenix Oyster: Inoculate the same way that you inoculate all other oyster mushrooms.
Best Tree Species: The only oyster mushroom that we have that fruits on Pine, White Pine, and Fir.
Pioppini (Black Poplar): Needs to be cultivated raft style. They perform poorly on logs that are vertical. They can also be inoculated into stumps. Be sure to expose leader roots and inoculate them as much as possible.
Best Tree Species: Both hardwoods and softwoods work for Pioppini. Try it on oak, maple, and wild cherry.
Reishi: Best suited for logs that are partially buried, vertically or horizontally. You can bury short sections in planters with potting soil. Good candidate for stump cultivate.
Best Tree Species: Performs well on a variety of woods. Best on oak, red maple, hemlock, southern magnolia, sourwood, and gum trees.
Chicken of the Woods: Recommended for larger stump style or whole larger logs. Larger logs can be dropped and plugged as they lie to maximize efficiency and minimize labor. Larger logs are recommended because of the inconsistency in larger logs. Larger logs = larger fruitings.
Best Tree Species: Any hardwood (no locust) and most softwoods.
Maitake: Plug larger logs. Stump method or large 12"+ diameter logs partially buried. Bury logs horizontally, and stumps vertically.
Best Tree Species: Only plug oak logs.
Nameko: Needs to be cultivated raft style. They perform poorly on logs that are vertical. They can also be inoculated into stumps. Be sure to expose leader roots and inoculate them as much as possible.
Best Tree Species: Both hardwoods and softwoods work for Nameko. Try it on oak, maple, and wild cherry.