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Cut it or uproot it?


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Hi, i have a question concerning the proper way of picking mushrooms. In a book i 've read (greek one, i live in greece) the author suggests to uproot the mushroom. According to him, if u cut it with a knife it will be more difficult for the mushroom to grow again, since the stem does not grow back and new mushrooms will grow directly from the mycelium (i think this is the proper word in english). However i see a lot of mushroom knives on the market, which suggests quite the opposite. Does anyone know which way of picking mushrooms is "correct"?

Thanks

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I have seen mushrooms push stones out of the way when the grow. I do not think leaving a stem will keep a new mushroom from growing. Also, mushrooms deteriorate quickly, so the stem will rot away. And by pulling mushrooms they will have dirt on them. You would need to trim the stem off to keep your mushrooms clean in your basket or bag.

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All of the scientific studies that I've read say that it doesn't matter very much if you cut or pull your mushrooms, although some studies showed a slight improvement in production of Chanterelles when they were pulled instead of cut.  I always pull any sizable mushroom that's being harvested and then cut off the stem butt just above the dirt line, for two reasons.  First, I get the longest possible stem for eating (most stems are just as tasty as the caps).  Second, I don't leave behind any cut stems to show any competitors where the mushrooms are growing (the stem butts are tossed far away).  For small mushrooms, like Winter Chanterelles (Craterelles), which grow in clusters, it's more efficient to harvest them by cutting clumps, especially if you use scissors.

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  • 1 month later...

If collecting an edible type that I intend to eat, I generally pull the mushroom(s) and then trim the debris off the stalk(s) (as suggested above by vitog). When harvesting a specimen either for study or for discussion of ID, I carefully extract the entire fruit body form the substrate as part of an overall attempt to preserve as many physical traits as possible. 

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I always leave the stems of "Natural" morels in the ground! I have proven in the past, that leaving the spore in the ground will allow another mushroom to grow in the exact spot next year, but often I return a week or so after the original was cut, and find more growing from the same spore base and stem. I am sure you have seen multiple sizes in a clump, so if you pulled the first one you saw, you made it impossible to harvest anymore from that spore base. I am not as careful in logging and burn areas as I don't expect the areas to produce a second season. Please leave Morel stumps in ground!

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On 2/2/2019 at 10:25 AM, Tasso said:

Good article. Plus it gives an answer to why some mushrooms pick "clean" or "dirty".

I cut or pick depending on predictable dirt load on the stem base. Boletes, chanterelles, hedgehogs all pick clean.

Blewits, King Stropharia, Tipplers Bane and Lyophyllum all pick dirty with loads of dirt and organic material stuck to stem base so I cut them

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On 2/2/2019 at 11:46 PM, vitog said:

All of the scientific studies that I've read say that it doesn't matter very much if you cut or pull your mushrooms, although some studies showed a slight improvement in production of Chanterelles when they were pulled instead of cut.  I always pull any sizable mushroom that's being harvested and then cut off the stem butt just above the dirt line, for two reasons.  First, I get the longest possible stem for eating (most stems are just as tasty as the caps).  Second, I don't leave behind any cut stems to show any competitors where the mushrooms are growing (the stem butts are tossed far away).  For small mushrooms, like Winter Chanterelles (Craterelles), which grow in clusters, it's more efficient to harvest them by cutting clumps, especially if you use scissors.

This!  I read the same.  It was something like a 25-30 year study.

Not much difference, but I twist bigger mushrooms, like Boletes.  And I've noticed untrimmed mushrooms last longer after being picked.

I once read an internet article 🙄 that said if you cut Boletes off and leave the stem butt, it would rot and kill the mycelium!  All I could think about was all the mushrooms growing where no one picks them....they rot and kill off the mycelium every single year...HAHA, right...

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If you read about growing button mushrooms commercially, you'll find that they harvest them by twisting the whole mushroom out of the grow bed.  This presumably reduces the potential for disease from rotting stem butts.  The same should apply to wild harvesting.

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