Scoring and Girdling Pretreatment of Sweetgum, Chinkapin Oak, and Hackberry Trees for Shitake Mushroon Production

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  • 1 Dept. of Plant and Soil Science, Alabama A&M Univ., Normal, AL 35762

To determine if production of shiitake mushrooms [Lentinus edodes (Berk.) Pegler] could. be increased, sweetgums (Liquidamber straciflua) chinkapin oaks (Quercus muehlenbergii) and hackberries (Celtis occidentalis) were scored or girdled in May 1993. Scoring was done by removing a 3-cm-wide strip of bark in a spiral from around the tree so that the end was ≈5 cm below the starting point. Girdling was done similarly, forming a continuous ring. For each tree species, there were three replications of the three treatments. In May 1994, the trees were felled, cut into 100-cm sections, and the logs were inoculated with shiitake mushroom spawn. In Oct. 1994, when production began, 30% of the logs from scored oak trees produced a total of 1720 g of shiitake mushrooms; from the girdled oak trees 36% of the logs produced a total of 963 g; and 28% of logs from control trees produced 704 g. Although a higher percentage of scored and girdled sweetgum logs came into production, the yield of mushrooms from controls was equal to that of girdled and higher than that of the scored.

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