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Morel Mushrooms in the Poconos

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I am up in pike county pa. Chomping at the bit to get out foraging! Can anyone tell me approximately when they start showing up in this area? Any advise is greatly appreciated

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It varies annually according to the weather. Also, elevation above sea level and aspect of the habitat you're hunting (north/south facing). I think first two weeks of May should be a good time to look for yellow morels in Pike County. If you know a spot where blacks occur, then maybe April 25 or so. 

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Morning Dave ,

as always thanks so much for your insight. Used to hunt morels growing up in Missouri but his will be my first attempt up here. 

May try an old orchard in NJ next week and see. Lower elevation and warmer temps there. 

Had a warm night last night with a lot of rain followed by warm temps forecasted today. Hopefully that gets things going 

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When collecting morels from old apple orchards here in eastern NA --especially large orchards where apples have/had been a main cash crop-- it is advisable to test the soil for lead (or consult anyone who knows the history of the orchard). For about 100 years the pesticide lead-arsenate had been sprayed onto apple trees, and in some old orchards the soil is contaminated with this toxin. Morels are known to uptake toxins from their habitat.

I checked my local early spot today, none yet but we are close to the first morels here in NE PA.

 

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Thanks Dave, 

Went out today to scout an old abandoned orchard. We did locate the orchard. Truly hidden way out in the middle of no where. Saw no morels yet but the location looks very promising. Dead or dying apple trees for a few acres. No signs of anyone having walked in there in a long time. 

I did end up with three ticks on me from that short walk. How many of y’all treat your clothing with permethrin? I came home and treated and outfit. Letting it dry now. Hopefully it’d effective in the field 

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I don't go out looking for morels without my permethrin-treated clothes on. 

That hidden orchard with the dying trees sounds promising. These type spots usually produce yellow morels during the second and third weeks of May, sometimes a bit sooner, sometimes later. Watch out for the poison ivy! 

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Do you find the permethrin works pretty well? I sure hope so because ticks appear to be pretty bad this year. 

The nice thing about that spot is that it’s close enough to check daily. That’s three old orchards I have found this spring. Hoping they produce! I need to get better at identifying elms and tulip polars when they have no leaves. 

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I have experienced very good results with permethrin. I do a lot of foraging for morels, which often means bushwhacking through underbrush... during the height of the spring tick season. Sine I've been using permethrin, I haven't been bit by a tick. Last week, however, a tick managed to find its way beneath my wife's permethrin-treated shirt. She found it loosely-attached to her skin, but dead. 

Tulip poplar has a rather distinctive bark, fairly deep vertically-aligned elongated elliptical to diamond shaped furrows; similar to white ash. Tulip poplar and white ash often grow in the same habitat, and this type forest is sometimes good for morels (although most of the ash have died).  Tulip poplar is a fast growing tree, and very large ones with 4 foot diameter trunks are not uncommon. 

With elm trees, your looking for recently dead ones. The shape of the crown of the dead elm is often the best feature. Elms have lots of thin branches that are often aligned almost semi-vertically and near the apex may either curl inward or fan outward to form a vase-like shape. Elms die suddenly, as a result of being infected by Dutch Elm Disease (from birth). Recently dead elms retain all/most of their bark, which is grayish with shallow furrows. The morel mushrooms are the way the Morchella fungus reacts to the sudden loss of a sybiotic partner. 

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