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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
In the Shenandoah many Ash trees were not totally killed. Many have sprouts coming up near the base of the Ash trees. It will take a while but hopefully some Ash will survive eventually. Not in my lifetime unfortunately. Look for any dead Ironwoods if they grow in your area. They are not large but have flushes similar to Dead Elms but can produce good finds for several years. (American hornbean)
Ironwoods huh? Interesting. We do have some of them in the river bluffs in spots. A bad drought a few years back killed a lot of them. I did not see any morels around them, but I have to admit I did not look to hard. They kind of look a little like an elm in some ways. I will pay more careful attention this year. I find them around honey locust sometimes but not in huge amounts and once in awhile on a hedge tree along old fence lines in the timber. If they can produce like an elm it would be sweet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I'm in Ohio and once the borer hit it didn't take long. Haven't seen a live ash in 3-4 years!
Well maybe a few will survive. My dad has one we treat to keep it alive. So far, so good. I can still find timbers with live ash, but it is like it is the 60's and 70's again with all the elm dying. Not old enough to have seen the Chestnut's all die. What is next?
 

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And, our elms have been so long dead that the elm/morel connection has kind of been broken. Only found morels under 1 elm ever. And it was still hanging on to its bark. Once the bark is gone, it's over.

A little research on the computer did reveal that elms have to be a certain age before they become susceptible to the disease, and they become sexually mature before that. So, they can produce seeds which can sprout into young elms, and I've actually found some. Never found morels near any of the young ones though.

It is thought by some that since morels have mycorrhizal relationships with elm, and other, trees that they can sense when the tree gets in trouble and that causes them to flush. That they "know" that they need to produce spore because their "partner" is threatened and they need to get out of Dodge! They also believe that the Dutch Elm Disease is responsible for the morel hunting craze, since it started such massive flushes!
 

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One of my favorites is the chanterelles. Every bit as good as morels. They look like an orange inverted umbrella with wavy edge. There is a look alike though, the jack-o-lantern, so be careful. The difference between the two is that chanterelles “gills” are not really gills at all, they're just folds that run all the way down the stalk. Other schrooms gills stop at a a specific location on the stalk...like a ring. Hen of the woods is another dandy.
 

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Don't count out very old Dead Elm stumps. Every once in a while you can find very good flushes under them. 2 Years ago the bulk of our morel finds in VA were under long dead Elms. Some had been dead for over 15 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
And, our elms have been so long dead that the elm/morel connection has kind of been broken. Only found morels under 1 elm ever. And it was still hanging on to its bark. Once the bark is gone, it's over.

A little research on the computer did reveal that elms have to be a certain age before they become susceptible to the disease, and they become sexually mature before that. So, they can produce seeds which can sprout into young elms, and I've actually found some. Never found morels near any of the young ones though.

It is thought by some that since morels have mycorrhizal relationships with elm, and other, trees that they can sense when the tree gets in trouble and that causes them to flush. That they "know" that they need to produce spore because their "partner" is threatened and they need to get out of Dodge! They also believe that the Dutch Elm Disease is responsible for the morel hunting craze, since it started such massive flushes!
Interesting. Finding big elm is getting very difficult. Cut over timber about 30-50 years old seems to be a sweet spot if you can find it. Many species and gives a chance for new elm. The big oak timbers have very few left. My grandparents and father hunted them in the river bottoms on cottonwoods in the 30's and 40's long before the elm die offs. But the dying elm in the 60's did help the hunting. The old time farm people hunted them as part of a meal they did not need to pay for. Along with the eggs, ham. beef, and a big garden.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
All the elm are seeding in the timbers of N Mo.. A good time to see what an elm looks like if you are not sure. Look at the bark and branching structure. If you are walking in timber with no live elm, then there will never be any dead ones for morels. I avoid those places unless they have ash, and they are all dying.
 

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All the elm are seeding in the timbers of N Mo.. A good time to see what an elm looks like if you are not sure. Look at the bark and branching structure. If you are walking in timber with no live elm, then there will never be any dead ones for morels. I avoid those places unless they have ash, and they are all dying.
Yeah there are a ton of elm in Missouri and Iowa (the two states I hunt the most) in the deep woods still. Farther away from development the more elms you will see because people haven’t carried the disease to the trees. Usually see the smaller slippery elms, as the giant old American elms seem to have been harder hit by the disease, as I rarely do see those anymore. But yes, the drier Oak/shagbark kinds of woods just don’t waste your time and only look for stands that are well varied with species of elm, ash, hackberry, pines, cottonwood, etc. Cottonwoods are good indicators because they are easily recognized from long ways away and usually grow in moister soils, which is what you want.
 

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KB
Now that you mention it we did find a lot around a dead Honey Locust one year. Ill have to keep this in mind when we go to VA for 3 weeks later on in late April to early May. No Locust trees in SC where I occasionally hunt morels.
Mature Cedar forest can be good but need a lot of frequent rains t produce.
 

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Hmmm. I know where there's a whole gang of honey locust at my hunting club. And it's not that far from a cattail swamp. I've never thought to check there, but I will this year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
The honey locust like limestone also which morels like. I don't really look for honey locust but if I am walking through a patch of them I will scan for morels. I have never seen a big flush around them but they do not need to be dead. Hard maple are the same way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Yeah there are a ton of elm in Missouri and Iowa (the two states I hunt the most) in the deep woods still. Farther away from development the more elms you will see because people haven’t carried the disease to the trees. Usually see the smaller slippery elms, as the giant old American elms seem to have been harder hit by the disease, as I rarely do see those anymore. But yes, the drier Oak/shagbark kinds of woods just don’t waste your time and only look for stands that are well varied with species of elm, ash, hackberry, pines, cottonwood, etc. Cottonwoods are good indicators because they are easily recognized from long ways away and usually grow in moister soils, which is what you want.
It is sad. Some of these timbers I have hunted morels in for over 40 years. There are not even a lot of live elm in some parts. Farther west you get the more elm still left it seems. Many small slippery elm as you said. Used to be some rock elm in the limestone bluff areas but have not seen one of those in years. As you mentioned cottons are good to. Never now when they might kick out some morels.
 

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Yesterday's warmth got me motivated for a hike this morning. Probably nothing up yet. Soil temps still a tad low, but close enough for a morning hike on some southern slopes and open low areas. I'll report any findings. Hoping for a better season than last year.
 

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It was assumed that morels prefer sweet soil but after taking several dozen soil samples from SC to NJ All were from acidic soil. All had pH under 6.0 Some as low as 4.5. I got soil samples from many people across the country. One sample from Idaho had 8.0 pH. Soil samples were done by my local Clemson extension service and included all basic soil items such as iron. phosphorus potassium, and many other minerals and nutrients. There seemed to be nothing in common where morels fruited.
 

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Yesterday's warmth got me motivated for a hike this morning. Probably nothing up yet. Soil temps still a tad low, but close enough for a morning hike on some southern slopes and open low areas. I'll report any findings. Hoping for a better season than last year.
Results from today in St. Louis County were cold wet feet and hands. No Shrooms yet here.
 

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The honey locust like limestone also which morels like. I don't really look for honey locust but if I am walking through a patch of them I will scan for morels. I have never seen a big flush around them but they do not need to be dead. Hard maple are the same way.
Well, my hunting club is the location of an old limestone mining operation. We have lots of limestone here in NE Ohio and W PA. My buddy's old homestead has well water, and the well is dug 220' deep! They hit water much higher than that, but the depth of their well allows him to pull water right off the top of the big limestone dome that is underground beneath his house.

Having drunk a bunch of his tap water, I can tell you that it is delicious!
 

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I think that morels will grow in many types of soil and under many types of trees. I grew up where well water was from lime type soils and it was sweet.
 
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