MDCP Record for 04150301
Collection Date: April 15, 2003
County or City: Union
Collector's Notes: Black morel. We had a bumper crop, I think. I'm not sure because this year I found where they grow, and I'm not sure I haven't just missed them before. My brother and I found over 300 yellows, and I found one black and one half-free. Unfortunately, the half-free sample was attacked by a rogue lemon in my 'fridge and ruined. I've included the black , an early season very small yellow specimen , and a late season larger one . None of the morels I found this year were large, compared to the ones I found in Missouri while turkey hunting. Our Mississippi strain may be the "deliciousa" variety. The small ones were tiny ( 1 1/2-2") in the early season, and the biggest one was no more than five inches high, late season. I found a 7" yellow two years ago. We found them mostly just below the crest of a ridge, in mid-April, with the slope facing a generally northern direction, although some were found all over. Associations were with numerous species of trees, including beech, green ash, white (Biltmore var.) ash, various oaks (the black was under a red oak, probably Southern red, possibly black), black gum, mockernut and pignut hickories, sweetgum, and flowering dogwood. I'm a pretty good botanist. Mostly they were under live trees, but in '94 we had a hellacious ice strom that littered the forrest floor with dead branches and whole trunks. I'm pretty sure that many of the morels were associated with the residue of that storm, even though it was 9 years before! They seemed to grow best where the trees were larger in general. Our property was cut over about 25 years ago, and some areas where the timber was smaller were less productive. Of all the species involved, only the white ash was an unquestionable association. If the tree was a foot or more in diameter, there was at least an even chance of finding morels within 50 feet of the base. Green ashes were also pretty reliable, but it seemed more important for the dead material to be near. This observation was also undoubtedly influenced by the season, since the early ones were found low, where green ash grows. I probably missed early blacks and half-frees.