2019 Texas Morel Season

Discussion in 'Texas' started by morelorel, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. morelorel

    morelorel Morel Connoisseur

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    It's that time of year when foragers dream of glints of gold amongst the leaf litter. I usually feel the anticipation mounting around the first week of February and this year has been no different. That being said I'm not feeling particularly optimistic about 2019 for our local Texas morel season although I believe it will be better than last years dismal fruitings I don't think we are in for a bumper crop.

    Low freeze hours and rapidly rising spring temperatures are not exactly conducive to large prolonged fruitings. Despite those limiting factors we are looking better on moisture levels than this time last year. Lake Whitney and Lake Waco are fairly full, Lake Travis is too. Lake Texoma is slightly under full also. Another nugget of hope would be the fact that we had record-breaking fall rains in a lot of places. Fall rains are actually even more important to the life cycle of Morchella species than spring moisture. None of the Morel producing areas are under drought conditions right now in Texas so if weather cooperates we might actually have a semi-decent season this year! Good luck to my fellow Texans I hope your harvests exceed expectations.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
  2. benthegrate

    benthegrate Morel Connoisseur

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    Yes, we've already had a couple of days in the low 80s and it's not even Valentine's Day yet, which does not bode well. The climate here is the reason we often have poor morel seasons, it's not for lack of appropriate trees or alkaline soils. Foragers in northern states where the harvest is abundant begin to freak out when the daily forecast is for mid 70s, and a couple of days in the 80s typically brings about the end of the season. This is why the majority of Texas morels are found beneath "cedars" (technically junipers, as we have no native cedar trees here in Texas), because their thick foliage keeps the soil temps beneath them cooler for longer. But I have found them beneath ash, cottonwood, and sycamore here, as well.

    Last year I sacrificed the largest morel I found in Missouri to create the "mass spore slurry" method of propagating morels, outlined by the great Paul Stamets and proved effective by multiple people since. (YouTube "grow morels at home" if you haven't seen the video.) I inoculated some hardwood chips and have them scattered in multiple locations on my property, but it's only been a year, so I'm not anticipating anything for another year or two. (But it never hurts to hope!)

    Good luck to everyone this year! My free time will be limited during our prime season here in Texas and Oklahoma, but I have a week carved out in early May to head north.
     

  3. Mushroom Geologist

    Mushroom Geologist Morel Enthusiast

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    I have yet to find any in East Texas yet. Getting a good rain this weekend, so hopefully this sparks the season. Already was finding the small white morels last year this time.
     
  4. HoosierInTexas

    HoosierInTexas Morel Enthusiast

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    I am new to the hunt here in Texas, lived here for 30 years but didn't know they grew here and no one I've ever talked to down here has said anything about them. Last year was my first year hunting down here, but had no luck. I'm thrown by the temperature changes around here. Yes, we've been in the lower 80s but then we've had freezes since. What's a shroomer to do? The woods are already starting to green up on ground cover..
     
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  5. morelorel

    morelorel Morel Connoisseur

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    [​IMG]
    We're close. As of today Central TX has reached 1000 on degree day index. Time to start looking soon in the Hill Country near Vanderpool and San Antonio.
     
  6. HoosierInTexas

    HoosierInTexas Morel Enthusiast

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    I'm not familiar with that scale... Where would the DFW area fall on it, if you don't mind my asking?
     
  7. morelorel

    morelorel Morel Connoisseur

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    It's the degree day index it counts degree numbers for days this year over a certain temperature in this case 32F. The current total is found for DFW by locating it on the map and seeing what color band covers the location. It looks in the 781 light green band covers DFW. I usually start looking when the index reaches 1000 but I rarely find any until 1200 degree days.
     
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  8. Mushroom Geologist

    Mushroom Geologist Morel Enthusiast

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    They're here!!!!!! Tyler Texas Area. Found 7 in total today. upload_2019-2-27_22-6-53.jpeg
     
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  9. morelorel

    morelorel Morel Connoisseur

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    Nice finds! They are quite large for greys. I don't know if I should go out south to the hill country this weekend and hunt or wait. There are freezes in the forecast and that would be game over for any fruiting patches. Hopefully the North Texas spots on the state line with Oklahoma will hold off a few weeks.
     
  10. Mushroom Geologist

    Mushroom Geologist Morel Enthusiast

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    The greys come in first. They are not usually that big when I find them. About 2 to 3 weeks later the golden morels start to grow. We are getting cold weather now but the weekend is supposed to be wet and somewhat warm turning back to cold. This is going to slow things down around here. I did find a few Reishi Mushrooms the other day as well.
     
  11. LindaleTexas

    LindaleTexas Morel Enthusiast

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  12. LindaleTexas

    LindaleTexas Morel Enthusiast

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    Geologist, I live in Lindale, Tx and have been searching around here for a few years now with no luck for morel mushrooms. I have had success in NW Arkansas and Indiana, but I find myself under elm and ash trees without luck here. I don’t need to know your spots but can you please let me know what trees you find them associated with around Tyler, and is is really worth looking for them in this area?
     
  13. morelorel

    morelorel Morel Connoisseur

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    The color is just from the stage of growth. They start out as grey and become the blonde golden colors as they increase in size. This is true for our southern natural morels. I'm afraid the incoming freezes will pretty much end any fruitings that have already begun. Im glad the upper hill country and state line are still a few weeks away from fruiting.
     
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  14. Mushroom Geologist

    Mushroom Geologist Morel Enthusiast

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    Elms mostly. I seem to find more around the little elms than the large ones. As far as is it worth it....I dont know. I have only looked for them in one spot on my property of 40acres and I have several spots that grow them. I want to look in the Tyler State Park area. Remember there being a lot of Elms around there. Probably against the law to pick there though.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
  15. LindaleTexas

    LindaleTexas Morel Enthusiast

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    Thanks for letting me know. From what I understand all Texas state parks are off limits to harvesting mushrooms. That being said I’ve looked in Tyler SP without luck, but I feel like I was too late last year. Im not sure if I would have been able to leave any if I found them, but there is just a need to see a Texas Morel!
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
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  16. Mushroom Geologist

    Mushroom Geologist Morel Enthusiast

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    I edited my post for a more detailed answer. Look around lake Fork area as well. Lots of old forest in and around that area along the Sabine River. Stir clear of any banjo picking sounds though.
     
  17. Mushroom Geologist

    Mushroom Geologist Morel Enthusiast

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    Only 4 found today. I left the little one in the ground and put a jar over it to protect it from the coming freeze.
     

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  18. LindaleTexas

    LindaleTexas Morel Enthusiast

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    Nice! I’ll bet 4 is better than most did today. Thanks again for the tips.
     
  19. kb

    kb Morel Connoisseur

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    Seems like a person should be able to harvest a perishable food item from parkland that tax dollars pay for. The rub is usually: are they being sold or just eaten. The only way to fix that is have people split the tops like they do in some fed. lands out west, or limit the pick for a day. That would suck if you hit the mother load. Anyhow good luck to yall down in the Lone Star state. We are in a small ice age up here in N. Mo.
     
  20. mce007

    mce007 Young Morel

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    Does anyone hunt around the Paris area?