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Finding Morels... Your How-to Guide

Seasoned mushroom hunters will swear by identifying particular types of trees as the key to locating morels. Here’s a listing of commonly agreed-upon morel host trees:
Type of Tree White Ash American Elm Tulip Poplar Apple Trees Big Toothed Aspen Eastern Cottonwood Eastern White Pine Sycamore U.S. Tree Range (Roughly) Eastern Third, excluding MN northern WI Formerly Eastern half Eastern Third, excluding northern MI and northeastern—most states Where introduced Northern states from MN to ME, extending to VA Eastern Third, excluding northeastern— most states, VA, NC, some of KY and TN MN, WI, MI, northeastern—most states, extending through WV, VA, NC, TN, KY Eastern Third, excluding MN and northern WI Type of Morel Found Near Tree Black, Yellow Yellow Black, Yellow Yellow Black Yellow Yellow Yellow

Table compiled from: Kuo, M. (2003, December). Recognizing trees in spring. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.

Morels seem to particularly love the American Elm, White Ash, Tulip Poplar and apple trees. The American Elm has been greatly eradicated due to Dutch Elm Disease, but morels proliferate near dead Elms. In mountainous West Coast regions, morels are fond of growing in Douglas Fir forests. Be careful around Big-Toothed Aspen, Quaking Aspen and Red Pine: they are ripe habitat for poisonous False morels. Some mushroom hunters report finding black morels near fruit trees, and even on lawns or in fields! Some also find them near Pine and Eastern Cottonwood. Some hunters look for yellow morels near Maple trees. Some can even find them near Black Ash. But the yellow morel motherlode can usually be found around Elms, particularly dead ones (which shouldn’t be difficult to locate, given extensive Dutch Elm Disease in the U.S.), and old, overgrown apple orchards.

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