Maitake (Grifola frondosa) can be found growing wild at the base of stumps or dying oak trees in eastern Canada. These rosettes of smoky brown wavy caps with white porous undersides are also called “Hen of the Woods” (not to be confused with Chicken of the Woods). **Maitake cultivation on logs is still experimental. Best results are achieved through “pre-treating” freshly cut oak logs before inoculation, and partially burying the logs once colonized.**
“Pre-treat” the log by pressure cooking, steaming, or boiling the fresh oak logs for 1-4h, then let cool.
Drill holes about 25mm (1″) deep into freshly harvested conifer log using 8mm (5/16″) drill bit and depth stop. If you are drilling holes many logs, consider our specialized high speed mushroom drill bit and angle grinder adapter to make the task faster and easier.
Raise your mushroom log on bricks to avoid contact with soil, and store in a shady location open to the rain. For optimal growth, rehydrate your log during extended dry periods by submerging overnight in water. After 4-6 months, when you seen evidence of mycelium growing in the cut edge of the log, bury in a shady location leaving about 2 inches above the soil surface. Now sit back and let nature do her thing.
Typically heavy rains in the late summer and early fall will stimulate your log to make mushrooms. Sometimes nature doesn’t provide enough rain and you can supplement with heavy watering. Patience is required as it can take a year or more for the first mushrooms to form, but after that your log will produce seasonally for many years.
100 plugs will plant ~2 logs* (~100g of wax will seal 100 plugs)
500 plugs will plant ~10 logs* (~454g of wax will seal 500 plugs)
*Based on an average log size of 40 inches long by 4 inches in diameter.
Ecology: Weakly parasitic on living oaks and other hardwoods in eastern Canada; also saprobic on decaying wood; causing a white butt rot; fruiting near the bases of trees; often reappearing in the same place in subsequent years; summer and fall.
Fruiting Body: 15–40 cm across; 10–30 cm high; composed of multiple caps in a rosette, sharing a branched, stemlike structure.
Individual Caps: 3–14 cm across; more or less fan-shaped or deltoid; dark to pale gray-brown (often with vague concentric zones); yellowing with old age; finely velvety or bald; with wavy margins.
Pore Surface: Running down the stem, often nearly to the base; lavender gray when young, becoming white and, with age, staining yellowish; not bruising; with 1–3 angular to slot-like or nearly tooth-like pores per mm; tubes 1–3 mm deep.
Stem Structure: Branched; whitish; tough; often off-center.
Flesh: Firm; white; unchanging when sliced.
Odor and Taste: Mild; pleasant.
Chemical Reactions: KOH negative on flesh and surfaces. Iron salts negative on cap and flesh.
Spore Print: White.