This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. Thanks.
If you don’t own a woodland it’s difficult to find fresh mushroom logs of good quality. You can’t just go cut any tree anywhere.
Before we had access to woodland, I wondered how we could find good logs or how we could cut our own without it costing too much. At the time I did the necessary research and discovered several ways you can find good logs for growing mushrooms.
You can cut personal-use trees for free on designated lands, contact businesses with access to woodlands, and ask any woodland owners for fresh wood, or offer a helping hand if and when they’ll need you in exchange for wood.
We have cut wood for mushroom logs on national “crown” land before, the neighbor’s woodland, and now our family woodland.
I have equipped this post with ways you can find wood, and how to approach each possible source.
By the end, you’ll know where to get logs for mushrooms.
Once you have your logs, follow the Complete Guide to Using Mushroom Plugs for Big Harvests
Go out and harvest fresh trees on public land
If you live near hardwood forests you can go cut trees for yourself on public lands. Local rules likely exist for harvesting fresh wood and can’t necessarily be done anywhere.
In Ontario, Canada you don’t need permission to harvest personal-use wood on specified public lands, but there are rules to follow.
Do a Google search to find the rules and areas for your local area. All the specifications can be found online or by calling your district office.
Luckily, mushroom log trees are small and easy to manage for everyday people such as you and me.
Related post: How to Identify & Select Wood for Mushroom Logs
Ask hydro electricians at work
If you can catch them at work and an appropriate tree happens to be there, they may be kind enough to cut it for you. Offer to load into your truck and be on your way.
Hydro companies primarily need a dump site for woodchips after cleaning up felled hazardous trees around power lines. You can certainly grow mushrooms in the woodchips too!
Do keep in mind the areas you’ll typically see them working are to remove hazardous (most likely dead) trees. They might not be able to do anything for you. There may be no good trees around. Just ask, be polite, and accept the answer. While it can be a meant-to-be score in the right place and time, this isn’t the best way to find mushroom logs.
Call tree removal services to see what they offer
Call a few local companies to ask if they have any logs they can sell you from recent jobs. While one may not, another may. After you find out if they sell lumber or can make an exception for you; ask where you can take a look at the logs they have.
Only take logs that meet the quality standards for making mushroom logs. I say this to remind you that tree removal services are also not the best place to find good logs. You certainly can obtain fine specimens, but they usually remove dangerously dying trees.
Be there to help out after a windstorm
Windstorms are pretty devastating. They take out the healthiest of trees! Perfect for mushroom logs but not for people with a big sorrowing mess on their property.
Perhaps you live in a “tornado alley” or situated nearby. You could offer to help clean up for a specific amount of time in exchange that you can select wood pieces to take home.
In windstorms, it’s the large trees that come down most often. Or at least the large trees with wide healthy canopies. If you’re uncomfortable with the size of an already downed tree you could still offer to help clean up the lighter stuff. Brush and limbs. Either way, your service exchange for wood will reduce the cost for them to hire a tree removal service.
If no one needs help—it’s an easy opportunity to clean up public lands rather than felling your own mess.
We recently had a strong near-tornado windstorm and have so much wood down on our property we don’t know what to do with it!
But . . . Can you guess what we did with it? You bet! and firewood too.
Search for a local mushroom log kit business
Mushroom logs can be ordered by big sellers or small local sellers. You’re more likely able to get fresh logs for inoculating from local small businesses.
Search google maps if anyone actively makes and sells mushroom logs near you.
Popular online mushroom kit stores sell some high-quality kits but are likely less interested in selling fresh logs.
Fresh-cut logs aren’t always allowed to be sold beyond a state or provincial border. If you’d like to know more about that, review your local laws to find out.
If no one seems to have an official mushroom log kit business near you, that’s okay. To find local logs online you don’t need there to be one!
Search for everyday people selling stuff on social media
You can check your social media marketplaces for any unofficial nearby sellers of logs.
I see cedar posts for sale on Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and Kijiji all the time. What you see would depend if you live in a state with hard woodland forests. If you have no hard woodland in sight; consider other mushroom species or methods to grow.
This article was originally published on foodforestliving.com. If it is now published on any other site, it was done without permission from the copyright owner.
Send a message to anyone selling fresh-cut wood. Ask if they can cut you some select pieces unless they offer suitable cuts.
Inquire well in advance of the dormant season and outline your specifications for good wood. For the best mushroom logs; arrange with sellers to cut logs for you when trees are dormant.
Reach out to family or friends who own hard woodland
If you or a family member knows of a friend who has land with hardwood trees; get in touch. An opportunity to expand your relationships awaits!
Offer to make them a few mushroom logs in exchange for an appropriate tree or two.
Reach out to your neighbors who have hard woodland
Neighbors are sustainable relations worthy of cultivating too. Good neighbors ask for help when needed. Are you a good neighbor?
Make them the same offer as above—fresh wood for some free gourmet mushroom logs.
Offer them a harvest or two of mushrooms upon fruition if they don’t want the responsibility of mushroom logs.
At that point, you’ll be onto something more. Perhaps a small homestead business selling gourmet mushrooms!
Approach people with hard woodland who you never met
People are people. If you don’t know them, go meet them! Even if you don’t live nearby.
Anyone with a woodland might be open to offering you a tree. Most likely for an exchange of what they want; money or a few inoculated mushroom logs of their own.
Knock on the door. If they aren’t home; write a letter and put it in their mailbox.
Try this with a few houses. One of five or ten may surely be delighted to give you a call!
Entertain alternative and more suitable options
If you live in the middle of the prairie or a desert and hardwood trees are not abundantly growing nearby . . . perhaps making mushroom logs is not a sustainable option for you.
With an abundance of grass and manure in a prairie—straw or manure-based mushroom beds are highly sustainable for you!
The good news is mushroom beds of any substrate are incredibly easy to make and maintain. Easier than hardwood logs and can last just as long if not longer than mushroom logs. Perhaps the hydro company can offer you chips, but not logs. Take the chips and grow yourself some wine cap mushrooms!
Unlike logs, you can keep on building a mushroom bed and feed it more food year after year.
With one mushroom bed, you can make many new mushroom beds by scooping a handful of living material to a new spot.
Related Content: How long it takes to make mushroom logs and a list of materials you’ll need
With the best chop-and-drop tools, you'll carry less out into the field after learning about all the options you may (or may not) need. Everyday chop-and-drop tools are small, multi-purpose, and...
The best gifts are useful gifts, so mushroom lovers aren't hard to shop for, and this list offers no shortage of practical presents. I asked hundreds of mushroom lovers and hunters about the best...