We’ve seen so much excitement about morel season popping up on social media sites so we asked Oakland County Parks and Recreation’s Nature Education Writer, Jonathan Schechter, to share some helpful hints to use when on the hunt for morels. Jonathan shared photos of his recent successes and answered some questions for us too.
I have noticed over the years that morels in Oakland County seem to emerge the same week the lilac buds open. This held true for me this year as well, and the rains definitely helped.
How long will it take to find one?
It does take practice to find your first morel, but once the eye knows what form it’s looking for, STOP and look around. The morel is probably not alone.
Where can we find them?
Morels need moisture and are usually, but not always, found near dead trees or in orchard areas. Wooded, gently sloped hillsides are good places to look and that describes much of Oakland County’s landscape.
Is there anything we need to know once we find one?
Keep in mind the morel is the harvestable fruit. Cut, don’t pick, the morel at ground level and leave the mycelium underground to produce more morels.
Can you tell us something we don’t know about morels?
Morels have an hollow interior. You can see that characteristic in my photo of the yellow morel (above, left) that was taken in Brandon Township.
Is there anything else you would like to share? Don’t worry, we won’t ask you to reveal your favorite morel hunting spot.
[Laughing] Morels are where you find them; success at morel hunting is random. When searching for morels walk slowly, stop often, and look all around. Even if you do not find a morel, it’s a great way to explore the wilder sides of Oakland County.
Jonathan also shared that in Oakland County, morels are one of the most sought after and easily identifiable species of mushrooms. He advises to NEVER eat one if you are not 100% sure what you have and never, ever mix different species in the same collecting bag. Confidence comes with a bit of practice and the nod from an experienced shroomer (forager). Thank you Jonathan Schechter, for sharing this great information on morels. We hope you made something fabulous to eat with your morel loot!
For more information about morel mushrooms, visit: morels.com.
Happy Morel Hunting Everyone!