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hello everyone, I'm wondering if anyone would have a clue where to look around the aspen valley, I've found some Goldens near red stone along a cottonwood/river trail, but they are very few and far between, does anyone have experience hunting morels here.
 

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Morels are around, but, not abundant (not like Midwest or West Coast or even Wyoming) We scour around rivers and creeks in late April and May looking for yellows near cottonwoods. Any of the grassy/brushy/cottonwoody riparian areas are likely. In June and later we go up to 8K and higher in mixed aspen/conifer forests looking for blacks...look for Aspen leafs to be about the size of a quarter and for the ground to still be really wet from snow-melt with piles of old snow still in dark cold places. Honestly, it is hard work and they are hard to find. We take a mushrooming vacation each May to get out of Dodge, get our fix, and get some serious quantities of morels in the burns in Idaho and Oregon. We prefer asparagus here in the Roaring Fork Valley in the spring and bide our time for the King Boletes and Chanties that our region is better known for in the summer. We are in Glenwood.
 

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Sonny, I’ll eco a little bit of what blizzard said. I’m from the Midwest and have lived in co for nine years. I took locals advise my first three years and didn’t look. Just packed up every may and went back home to get my fix. Than it happened, I work in the woods for a living and one day I was working a trail on the from range and looked down, low and behold fifty plus blondes and greys. Next day in some bettle kill marking some plots I scored 10 pounds of blacks. Rest is history, I know a stage around 100+ pounds a year and can find morels all over the state from March through June, last year even into July. Colorado you need to figure out the when and where and how they relate. Your area should be loaded with them. Start around Memorial Day walking popular trails in the conifers and keep a close eye on the sides of the trails. Once you start finding them pay attention to the environmental factors around you and take notes.
 

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jparr, I agree with you, they are out there and can be found! But, your experience is definitely outside the norm. Not many people find them like that here, because, they are pretty hard to find. I think you over-estimate their abundance... and under-estimate the amount of time one needs to devote to find those patches in the area. The area is definitely not "loaded" with them. This is especially true if you are used to hunting in the PNW, the Midwest, or even Wyoming where the area is "loaded" with them, relatively. Your advice is good on how to find them! Sonny - I can give you a local trail or two where you can definitely find them (reach out to me privately - my website is modern forager, you can find me in Google) and am happy to share those with you. I have some Colorado Fire maps on my website and also I keep my eye out for logged areas around 8K. I like to watch reports in the Facebook groups ( colorado mycological society and Western slope fungophiles) where people share their finds... my favorite way to keep my finger on the pulse of the bloom. That said, you are probably wiser to take advice from jparr, since he finds 100+ pounds a year in Colorado, which is 99+ more than I typically find! Sounds like he spends a lot of time in the woods in May/June in Colorado... which I don't really. Also, I know this is Morels.com, but I can't stress enough that Porcini and Chanterelle are the mushrooms that really shine locally and what most people target.
 

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jparr is absolutely right, especially when you consider the *cough cough* dry and fire-susceptible nature of colorado. there are tons to be found. i have found them in old burns, new burns, and mycorrhizally with cottonwood.
my question is- did you ever find them in east coast settings out here, e.g. near apple or dead elm? i know those trees are far more scattered in CO, but i can't find any info on whether or not they have a mycorrhizal connection with either when found west of the Mississippi.
 

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also sonny- jparr is right on in timing. there was a bit of nuance to what he was saying which was that when they are fruiting with cottonwoods, mostly april and early may, they will be doing so at lower elevations, 5-61/6200 tops, with a few popping in late may at elevation with cottonwoods, i suspect like you found. at your elevation, your best bet for a full sack is to follow as jparr said and start looking in mid to late may in ponderosa and lodgepole pine on more gentle sloping faces.
 

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Hey guys sorry it been a couple week and have not been tracking!! Morels exsist in certain situations and have a direct connection to the trees they grow near, and certain disturbances cause an increase in flush of the fruiting body that we enjoy on the table. Some wold argue fire creates a unnatural flush of “burn area morels” but I dis agree. Most of my best spots in Iowa Missouri and Indiana have Dutch elm and ash bore problems. Here in Colorado we have burn areas, bark bettle, fir engravers and a few more insects that stress trees or kill them that in return force morels to fruit in force. Blizzard I don’t think my experience would be out of the norm if people looking knew what they were looking for and when. Granted there is a lot that goes into my hunts ( veg type, disturbance, aspect, elevation, timing and annual or local moisture but that’s why I advise to walk trails to start and take notes, because they are here and I have taught many people how to find them, some I knew and others I have met on trails that were simply not looking down as they walked. The burns are premo first year than taper off look for trees that are scorched but not dead, in wet or shaded or depression area. South facing aspects happen first and rap up quick(April ish), follwed by the ridge top, west and east slopes. These areas are little longer lasting 3-5 days once up for about a week( late April through May depends on elevation also.) north slopes(golden ticket) find all the right stuff and start stuffing your bags may-early June. Here is the algorithm (spelling anyone) for success.... (patience)location+timing+\_moisture+disturbance/knowedge*aspect=success. I live in the greater grand junction ish area and wold be willing to take a person or two out and share a little knowledge this spring.
 

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anyone seen evidence of mycorrhizal connection between elm or ash or apple and morels in CO? outside of cottonwood mycorrhiza, and burn theory with conifers, do they relate to any others?
 

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There seems to also be a connection with the white fir. Cottonwoods killed by the high park and squirrel fires had big flushes of yellows and greys the following two spring.
 

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interesting! i don't know that the morel community has an appreciation for hardwood burns. that's groundbreaking information, man. i feel like colorado has the strangest morel conditions and strata of species, it's like the wild west. were they tomentosa greys? or the esculenta/esculentoides?
 

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esculenta I persume, but I’ll be honest I have found a full ranges of color size and composition, depending on where and when I find them they are all a little different. Example I found blondes like the one jacks shows in his second picture for the first time in my life last year on two different burns, blacks that look like blondes, greys that look like blacks, cottonwood yellows and grey like I find in the Midwest.
Here are a few points pics of all Colorado morels from last season
 

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that is incredibly fascinating. it definitely seems like late season greys (aka big yellows) are the exact same morels when they are esculent- as when they are tomentosas. i think i found 4 or 5 species in one very small burn last year.
upload_2018-3-5_23-32-38.png


the morels in your picture, 68D6BC92-3A0B-426A-97B6-98FF5, are clearly esculenta, right? don't really look like the grey (read mature tomentosa) in the bottom middle of this picture. however, my second picture is very much also a tomentosa, but looks like several of your esculentae.
upload_2018-3-5_23-39-20.png
 

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Hey guys sorry it been a couple week and have not been tracking!! Morels exsist in certain situations and have a direct connection to the trees they grow near, and certain disturbances cause an increase in flush of the fruiting body that we enjoy on the table. Some wold argue fire creates a unnatural flush of “burn area morels” but I dis agree. Most of my best spots in Iowa Missouri and Indiana have Dutch elm and ash bore problems. Here in Colorado we have burn areas, bark bettle, fir engravers and a few more insects that stress trees or kill them that in return force morels to fruit in force. Blizzard I don’t think my experience would be out of the norm if people looking knew what they were looking for and when. Granted there is a lot that goes into my hunts ( veg type, disturbance, aspect, elevation, timing and annual or local moisture but that’s why I advise to walk trails to start and take notes, because they are here and I have taught many people how to find them, some I knew and others I have met on trails that were simply not looking down as they walked. The burns are premo first year than taper off look for trees that are scorched but not dead, in wet or shaded or depression area. South facing aspects happen first and rap up quick(April ish), follwed by the ridge top, west and east slopes. These areas are little longer lasting 3-5 days once up for about a week( late April through May depends on elevation also.) north slopes(golden ticket) find all the right stuff and start stuffing your bags may-early June. Here is the algorithm (spelling anyone) for success.... (patience)location+timing+\_moisture+disturbance/knowedge*aspect=success. I live in the greater grand junction ish area and wold be willing to take a person or two out and share a little knowledge this spring.
My wife and I were talking about taking a June road trip over from NE to do some shroom hunting..would that be too late in the season?
 

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not at all, especially if you're looking to go to elevation, though it does look like an earlier season than usual. that larger tomentosa in my hand was found during the first week of june last year at 8000 feet. it is worth considering the stress going from sea level to 8k would put on your body, so definitely expect some altitude effects. morels can fruit into july at 9-10k, but the season is definitely mid may to early june here.
 

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Thanks forthe tips.. we've hiked up to Gem Lake before in RMNP Estes park area...would you happen to know its elevation? Or if that particular area would be good for morels specifically in june?
 

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i actually have never been to gem lake, so i can't comment too intelligently, however; I would say your timing might be perfect, but from the pictures i've seen, the terrain might be a tad too rocky. You'll be looking for our natural morels, (likely morchella synderi), so there isn't a great reason they wouldnt be there, as long as you find good pine species and slightly sloping hills. the rise of elevation doesnt seem too steep, so you might just find something, but estes and south to interstate 70 definitely have their morels. if you come in late june, you might see more types of mushrooms popping, as well, depending on when our rainy season starts.
 

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Thank ya much for the 411. Trying to gather Intel in advance..gorgeous to visit and explore regardless of finding fungi but what a bonus it would be. Good to know that's an excellent time of year to come
 
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