About the Morel Mushroom Season...
The morel mushroom season varies across the United States depending on the region in which you are located. Typically it arrives in the early spring months with the morels making their grand arrival in the southern regions of the US before they begin their migration north. As the warmth of the spring weather arrives it welcomes their arrival and heightens the morel hunters anticipation of the season . One of the first thing most morel hunters begin to understand is the fact there are many variables that affect the morel season Variables such as air temperature, ground temperature and rain levels impact the growing cycle and how bountiful the crop.
There have been many studies as to how, where and why the morels make their grand appearance in certain conditions and not others. Most mushroom hunters will present all kinds of “SWATS” (Scientific Wild Ass Theories) on how, where, and when to find them. Almost every mushroom hunter will have a few “SWATS” of their own, some with merit, while others are just that…theories. You can find detailed answers to various questions regarding the growing season and more on the FAQ page.
Many morel hunters will tell you they will find them in certain vegetation and most commonly in areas with dying or dead Elm trees, Sycamore and Ash trees, old apple orchards and maybe even in your own back yard. Ground cover varies and it is very likely that each patch of morel mushrooms you come across may be growing in totally different conditions. It is a common practice of shoomer’s to hit their favorite spots year after year. It is important to note that not all woods in which you look will have morels.
It is also important to note the morel does not grow in all regions in the US. Many regions based on climate or geographical location are not morel friendly. A great source is The Great Morel’s Sightings Maps . Here one can get a really good understanding of the arrival time of the morel and which geographical regions one might expect to find them. There are some regions – primarily the Upper Midwest states which the morel is much more plentiful than other regions.
If you are a first time hunter, you should make your first hunting expedition with someone who knows what a good morel looks like. There are several types of morels, some edible and others poisonous. The woods will dole out many types of fungi to the hunter, therefore, The Great Morel recommends that all shroomers – rookies and veterans alike visit Edible and Poisonous Mushroom Page by Barbara Bassett, Naturalist. This site has great images of the good, the bad, and the ugly! Click here for other great sources of morel identification as well as make sure to visit The Great Morel’s page on the false morel.
There is such a mystery to this fungi we all refer to as the morel, and morel hunters continually try and understand. Consider this little blog post as an intro to the understanding. Take a look around The Great Morel and expand your knowledge.