Many passionate morel mushroom hunters wait patiently for the beginning on morel season to begin. Unfortunately there is no hard a true date when these lovely mushrooms start to appear. There are many factors that contribute to the growth of morel mushrooms in the woods around the world that are taken into account.
Generally speaking, morel mushroom season begins in the spring for most regions. Typically you will find morels ripe for foraging between March and May. However, there is a significant range to where morel mushrooms can exist so the beginning and end of the season may very well change!
Factors that affect morel mushroom season
There are many environmental characteristics that play a role in morel growth rates. The morel mushroom life cycle is highly dependent on 2 different environmental conditions.
Mavens of morel mushrooms must first take in account the moisture of the environment. Morels thrive in moist environments. If there has been significant rainfall and humidity in the early parts of spring you can assume the morel season could begin earlier than expected. However, if you live in a notoriously dry climate you may not even experience the beauty of morels.
Secondly, is the ground and air temperature. Morel mushroom season may be delayed if the previous winter temperatures where especially cold.
Now, there are many other factors that contribute to the start and finish of morel season but these two characteristics are the most important to look out for.
Morel mushroom habitat range
In general, yellow morels are found under trees that lose their leaves in the fall while black morels tend to exist under conifers (woody plants; cone-bearing) and or areas recently burned by forest fires.
The ecological range of morels is so widespread that some species fruit in the autumn and winter months.
In the Western part of North America morels tend to grow in forests containing trees such as pine, fir, larch, douglas-fir, and cottonwood.
In the Northern hemisphere you can find morel mushrooms close to deciduous trees such as ash, sycamore, tulip trees, dead/dying elms, cottonwoods, and old apple trees.
In Europe and Mediterranean, you will find morels residing alongside trees such as pine, fir, poplar, elm, oak, strawberry trees, alder, olive trees, chestnut, apple trees, and ash.
Fortunately for foragers, the nature of morel mushroom season (spring time) means you will rarely find morels in the same vicinity of poisonous mushroom species. However, there are forms of false morels which can oftentimes be mistaken for the true morel species.
When does morel mushroom season end
There is really no well defined end to the morel foraging season. You could potentially be running into morels into the summer months depending on where you live.
However, the only way to truly know for sure is to get out there! Be on the lookout for the appearance of morel mushrooms and take note of the beginning as well as the end of the season.
Click the following link for a complete overview of the Morchella mushroom species.