Collecting Ethics & Etiquette

A few pointers to promote fungal fruiting and maintain harmony in the mushrooming community

  • Respect private property! One person can cause collecting privileges for the entire mushrooming community to be revoked.
  • Don’t pick every mushroom you see. Leaving very young and very old mushrooms, along with a few in their prime, allows them to sporulate and reproduce. You want to find more next year…
  • When collecting mushrooms for the table, dig up the whole mushroom to confirm your identification. Cut the mushroom low at the stipe, put the bottom back in the hole and bury it. Cutting mushrooms and leaving the bottom exposed does not help the mycelia to regrow a mushroom as some people think. The mushroom doesn't biodegrade normally. In fact, you may just see little stumps next year.
  • Don’t leave trimmings and broken mushrooms around! Bury your trimmings in the depression in the duff and cover with more duff. This keeps the mycelium healthy, prevents that “ravaged” look and vastly improves the esthetics of a walk in the woods. You’ll know you’ve done a good job when you stumble across the area again and hunt it twice!
  • When collecting with a group, be respectful of your neighbors’ personal space. If you found a huge bonanza, share a few with those less skilled or fortunate. It will come back to you!