The Ultimate Guide to Growing Shiitake Mushrooms on Logs


Are you looking for a rewarding and sustainable way to grow your own gourmet shiitake mushrooms? Look no further than growing shiitake mushrooms on logs! Not only is it more cost-effective than buying from a grocery store, but it's also a fun project to do with friends or family. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the step-by-step process of growing shiitake mushrooms on logs, from sourcing wood to the inoculation process and beyond.

Sourcing Wood

Healthy, living trees can be felled for mushroom bolts nearly any time of year. To maximize yield and longevity, timing the harvest with sap flow is crucial. Log cutting and inoculation traditionally happen in late winter and early spring before bud swell. Fall also provides a good window for harvesting, after a third of a tree's leaves have turned color through leaf drop. Nutrients will be concentrated in the wood during these times, making them ideal for inoculation.

It's important to source logs from a sustainable forester or use sustainable practices in culling trees for mushroom production. Any size logs can work, but smaller diameter wood will colonize faster while larger logs can produce for more seasons. For drilling methods, a 4-6 inch diameter with a 3-4 feet length is ideal, while the totem method can accommodate larger logs.


Logs should be inoculated within a few weeks of cutting to prevent the log from drying out and to avoid competitor fungi establishment. The inoculation process involves drilling holes in a freshly cut hardwood log, filling the holes with sawdust or plug spawn, and sealing the holes with melted wax. The logs should then be left outdoors in a shady spot to incubate until they are ready to fruit.

One of the advantages of growing shiitake mushrooms on logs is that they can produce gourmet mushrooms for multiple years without re-inoculation. The yield of the mushroom log depends on the type of wood chosen, the species being inoculated, and environmental conditions.

Tips and Insights

For fall inoculation in grow zones 8 and higher, it is recommended to protect logs from freezing temperatures. Overwintering logs in heated spaces or near heated structures can help ensure a successful harvest. Choosing dense hardwoods will lead to longer colonization times but more years of fruiting, while soft hardwoods may fruit sooner for fewer years.

Check out the video above for more information on choosing mushroom logs and using shiitake sawdust spawn with log inoculation tools. For beginners, a Shiitake Mushroom Log Growing Kit can provide a convenient way to start your mushroom cultivation journey.


Growing shiitake mushrooms on logs is not only a sustainable and cost-effective way to cultivate gourmet fungi but also a fun and rewarding experience. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of shiitake mushrooms for years to come. So gather your friends and family, source some logs, and start your mushroom growing adventure today!

Call to Action

Ready to start growing your own shiitake mushrooms on logs? Explore our range of mushroom log growing kits and supplies to get started on your mushroom cultivation journey. Join the growing community of mushroom enthusiasts and experience the satisfaction of harvesting your own gourmet fungi!

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