FE520 Week 5 Discussion

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    Alana McGee
    What is the true winter truffle season in Eureka California?
    Alana McGee

    Good question!

    Short answer:
    It starts in January through April– with some shoulder time in Dec/Jan and April/May depending on weather.

    Long answer:

    For White truffle species found on Oaks- we (the scientific body) really have no idea. We suspect Jan through April & Sept- Nov- coincide with mushroom season in California, provided there is rain! I know some were found in September in Tahoe area, but that’s farther south and east by far.

    Not all that much is known about California truffle productivity. One way to gauge would be a month after Chanterelles is really when they start going- but everything is subject to micro climate.

    I know for a fact in March in Six Rivers, CA and Gold beach, OR just over the border in Doug Fir forests folks were finding Oregon Winter White Truffles in large quantities. Our guess is generally as soon as you have enough moisture- likely January through April- but december is Totally possible.

    We suspect it is slightly later than here as the season marches down the coast.

    For example- Prime White season here in Wa (generally) is Mid Nov-Mid Jan (but we find them until March)- in Oregon it is Dec-Jan, and by you it’s likely Mid Jan-March for “prime” season.

    Black truffles, if you have enough moisture, could likely be found now, but realistically December/ January they would start. We technically find them all year. Moisture is the key. The truffles come in a lot heavier (as a general rule) after the bulk of mushroom season is done.

    HOWEVER because you are in California, the mecca for growing just about everything, especially mushrooms of all types, it is very possible you could find them now and all year- each species.

    Alana McGee

    No idea what chanterelles look like, but I know they are mushrooms. Would you say same habitat? We have had double the normal rainfall for October, so we are off to a good start.

    Are you saying little is known about truffle productivity in this area, or is that my hopeful appraisal?

    Can you send me good photos of the oaks you are speaking about? My “Western Trees” has photos from a distance. I am sure we have them, but I don’t know where.

    The annual Mushroom Fair happens here November 23rd. We went last year and saw two sick truffles amongst thousands of mushrooms.

    Alana McGee

    So in the thread talking about PNW truffles it shows photos and describes habitat of the doug fir/pine areas for truffles. They will look exactly the same there in Eureka as they do here in Washington- or it should have photos- I’ll check.

    as for the oak savannas and what they look like with truffles— i’ll see what photos I have.

    Two “sick truffles” huh!? I am super curious- gives me an idea for a new thread/ more photos to post— as soon as I catch up on answering other homework responses I’ll put that on my to do list.

    Alana McGee

    This is a chanterelle- for Oregon Black truffles (Leucangium carthusianum) they tend to like the same habitat as Chanterlles.If you tell the Mycology folks in Eureka you have a truffle dog- and you want to go see chanterelle patches because Black truffles like the same areas- I bet they will think you are crazy… but then take you there 🙂


    Alana McGee

    For now, I will lurk. Based on what I saw last year, these are BIG mushroom folks, but seem to have no interest in truffles. For a few years, I would , like it to stay that way.

    Alana McGee

    If you are going to collect mushrooms and you will be taking a mushroom to an expert for id, put a little duff in your wax baggie with the mushroom, as this will help with id. Also, make sure you collect the ENTIRE mushroom, including all of the base. Do not cut it off as seen in the chanterelle picture. I would guess the person who collected these mushrooms knew what they had and was field cleaning them. That’s fine when you know what you are collecting. The base of the mushroom is very useful for ID.

    Here are 2 poisonous mushrooms that are sometimes confused for chanterelles:

    Gomphus floccosus aka Wooly Chanterelle

    photo from Mushroom Observer


    Wooly Chanterelle

    Omphalotus olivascens aka Jack-o-lantern. These can make you sick enough for a trip to the hospital. Check out Debbie Viess and David Rust’s website for a good description of these mushrooms. But if you find them at the right time of spore production, they glow at night!


    Alana McGee

    Egads. Thanks for photo and help for this total fungal novice.

    Alana McGee


    my other photo of Chanties didn’t upload. Those were ones I found, so yes I cut them- but ALWAYS ask for professional advice before you eat any wild mushroom until you are beyond 100% sure.

    Also your myco society might have beginner ID classes you can take. The other thing is when trying a new mushroom species (AFTER it has been ID’d) always try just a tiny bit first and then wait a while, or a day to see how your body reacts. Everyone reacts differently to different mushrooms.

    As Annie previous mentioned she actually can’t eat chanterelles really.

    I, although it is considered a choice edible by most, cannot eat Pig’s ears (Gomphus Clavatus). So we always urge caution

    And yes, ALWAYS when I’ding pull out the base, and some of the wood/ soil, duff- and if you know what trees were nearby that can help too.

    Both chanterelles- see how different they look (they are different subspecies- but who’s counting!)

    *Also photo of chanties and the very nice specimens of Pig’s ears from last year that made me sick.

    *Also if we want to continue this- we should probably move it on to the uncatergorzied questions forum- and not clutter Questions about Week 5 lessons.
    chanterllesSJJaklesloop.jpg chanterlle…loop.jpg (90KB) 20131006_145625_resized.jpg 20131006_1…ized.jpg (68KB)

    Alana McGee

    Truffle Dog in Training

    Alana McGee

    Does these look like good sites? They are about 2-3500 ft elevation, all different sites, and we thought they look very nice

    look at all these holes in this hill. Doug Fir and Tanoak all around

    This, according to Six Rivers National Forest Map, is the largest Tanoak in the world. I also see that Oregon claims the largest oak. Whether this is #1 or #2, it is one BIG tree!

    Alana McGee

    That is a super cute picture Sandra!!!!!!

    Alana McGee

    Those sites look really good Sandra! Really nice. But the only way to know for sure is to have Tippet check periodically. Just because areas look good, doesn’t mean they always have truffles!

    Alana McGee

    Right. Absolute top altitude is what, do you think? I know truffle book says 2000ft but I thought we would start at 3000 and work our way down.

    Yes? No?

    BTW, I get no lecture for week 6… Is it up?

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