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Greetings all! I am originally from southern Ohio and moved to the Cleveland area (east of the city) and grew up picking morels with my grandpa. Last year I went out hunting but came up empty. I have been trying to do reading and find resources to get as much info as I can so I was super pumped to find this forum. I am wondering, how does the motel population compare in NE Ohio, Cleveland area to areas south of Columbus? Are there just fewer up here and how does the timing of looking for them differ? Any tips for a newbie in the area? Thanks so much can't wait to hear back you guys and gals rock!!!! Some of my best memories are finding morels with my grandpa and eating them sooooo good.....
 

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Big Buck

I have only been hunting a few years here in NE Ohio and I am far from an expert in regards to Southern Ohio but here are few of my observations about NE Ohio and why it does not produce as well as Southern Ohio. Anyone else feel free to chime in

-Weather
NE Oh warms up really quickly and stays cold longer. We do not usually have that nice gradual warm up from winter to spring like southern ohio. It can make our season very short or non existant. Last year was terrible for me. We went from snow to 85 degrees in a matter of ten days. It did not allow the shrooms to take root and grow. They burned up before they even had a chance to get going.

-Trees
There are not that many elms around our area. Cleveland was the epicenter of Dutch Elm disease and it spread from NE ohio. Pretty much wiped out all the elms. I find very few elm trees anywhere in Cuyahoga, Geauga. Summit county seems to have more elms than where I live and I do see some in that county. Through geauga up into NE ohio is one of the largest Beech Maple forests around. Lots of Oak too. Not that good for morels.

-Terrain
Our area of Ohio is Glaciated and relatively flat. The glaciers bulldozed this area like a parking lot. We also are in a very high elevation part of the state. Oaks like to be high up. Almost all the parks and public land around me are Oak Beech forests. The elevation plays into the type of trees. Lowland species are less abundant here accept in the rivers and swamps, elm ash sycamore cottonwood.

Last year was so bad in terms of weather I dont think you could script it any worse. I think I rained one or two days the entire spring. When rain finally did come it was already in the mid 80s temperature wise.
 

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There are still tons of elms if you just go find them in stark,Carroll & tusc.poplar & ash are almost as good.
 

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Thank you so much for the reply jdk32581 and danb it's much appreciated! Jdk what your saying makes total sense and gives me some things to think about. It definitely stinks that it's tougher up here and conditions are far worse but it doesn't mean they are non existent so I'm going to stay on top of it! Regarding weather what types of temps do you all usually shoot for? 60s? I am also guessing it's also the span of time that those temps are in play I.e. As jdk was saying the snow to 80s isn't good in a span of ten days! Thank you all again so much for the replies this is all fantastic stuff!
 

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2015 was a bad year for our southern brethren too. I know guys in S. Ohio that are morel maniacs and one told me it was his worst year in 50 years of hunting, he found over 300 compared to 3000 in 2014. Now some of the counties that he found them had a scattered showers and put moisture on the ground but it was very sporadic. Another buddy that lives near New Philly found 2! Mother Nature was not kind last year not enough rain when the morels needed it and as JDK said it got too hot too fast shutting them down. I live in Trumbull Co. and I've found prime elms that had nothing around them last year, some of my spots produced nothing,ash and tulip poplar same thing zilch! Let hope for a better spring and I think we will all have a good year. Much Success To You!
 

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When you don't have alot of good spring showers I always like to hunt the creek & spring areas where it is wetter. If you have wetter weather then hunt higher up the hills. Last year wasn't a great year but I still found alot by changing the area's I hunt all in central/NE Ohio -never go without any just some yrs are better.
 

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I agree with jdk in part, particularly about last year. In my part of the state (Youngstown area) we got almost no precipitation from the end of January till June! I found exactly one morel last year and I hunted my brains out! It was tiny and a crispy critter when I found it! Another year when the weather screwed us was a few years ago when we had highs in the mid-80's at this time of year. Man! I hate extremes in weather anymore! Seems to screw up the shrooms.

I do a lot of morel hunting at my fishing and hunting club, and there are plenty of old, dead elms there. But those woods have been left alone for close to a hundred years. In more urban, managed areas that may not be the case. Oddly enough, last year I was exploring in some parts of the club that I hadn't been in before, and found some living elm trees! We have 2,200+ acres, so there's plenty of places I haven't yet been. No doubt about it, they were elm trees! Much younger than the old, dead monarchs, and who knows how long they'll last. Besides, dead elms only produce for so long. One tree that I've had some success with in the past is going by the boards fast! It was holding almost all its bark until last Winter. Now it's all slipped off, and the production has dropped to nothing.

Hoping for a better year this year. I concentrate a lot on apple trees now, and have developed some intel on some old, abandoned orchards. We'll see how it goes!
 
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