Get out and find those Morels
An ongoing discussion, after a number of very warm days in March, has been whether or not morel mushrooms will be plentiful, slim picking, or completely absent.
The questions have not been completely answered for Wisconsin except these mushrooms began appearing in late March. I found some March 29, which were two to three days old. By April 1, a few people were picking them by the pound.
But will normal, cooler weather slow the growth?
Comparing what happened farther south, mushroom pickers found that the season began earlier but lasted as long as a normal year. Yippee.
Moisture and temperature will continue to play a big role in whether there is a bumper crop or something as disappointing as last year in many parts of Wisconsin.
Remember, too, that mycologists, those scientists who research morels, remind us that these mushrooms (the underground parts) do a lot of growing in late summer and fall. The conditions during those growing periods also have a great deal to do with how good the next spring’s productivity will be.
Putting all that together, and remembering that last fall was quite dry in some parts, we probably shouldn’t expect anything really special this spring but hope for a normal year, and wish for a fantastic year.
Picking may be good if rainfall is normal, and frequent, and it would be great if temperatures are normal during the next six weeks. Too warm and too dry ruins a season.
One drawback is sure to be that the plant growth got a month’s head start, which will make finding morels more difficult in all that vegetation. We will have difficulty seeing them. We’ve all noticed that when looking for morels in a forest filled with garlic mustard, morels are difficult to find, even if they are there.
We’re not to the point of losing all the elms in the forests and urban areas. This tree species is a prolific seed producer after just 10 to 15 years. So the Dutch elm disease fungus, which kills elm trees, is not likely to ever get ahead of all the elm trees and their ability to reproduce.
There should be some elms in our lifetimes.
When searching, don’t overlook the apple and aspen trees, either.