Selection Many species of hardwood available in the northeast are suitable for growing shiitake. Forest owner/managers should begin with an inventory of species growing on their lands. A simple woodlot management plan can be a helpful tool in choosing individual trees to harvest for inoculation as many trees chosen for cull, thinning, and even waste and slash from logging operations make prime fibers for cultivating fungi. Often summer and fall are ideal times to inventory and flag trees for spring harvest as fair weather and intact foliage make forest travel and tree species I.D. much easier. The majority of the trees chosen on th Eddy Farm are Red Oak and Eastern Hophornbeam, other species include sugar maple and beech.
Inoculation Inoculation is the process of introducing pure shiitake mycelium into the outer layers of the logs. The process involves drilling 1″ deep holes spaced 4-6″ apart around the circumference of the entire log and inserting shiitake mycelium sawdust into the holes and sealing over with a food grade cheese wax. All of our logs are inoculated at the end of March-earky April. In 2011 we inoculated around 300 logs and in 2012 we inoculated around 600.