Waiting for the leaves: week 17

Waiting for the leaves: week 17

Spring is in the air. Now and then the coat can be left at home and there is an incidental warm t-shirt day. The air is often a crispy blue and the silhouettes of the trees are sharp and defined. After working for several hours outdoors I can feel that the sun has worked its power on my cheeks and neck. Ouch! The strength of the sun during these days is often underestimated not only for myself but also for the inoculated logs.
Edible wood logs like to live in the forest. The trees provide shade, a moist climate and keep the wind at bay. In the period December – April the shii-take logs are not in production and are stacked loosely with plenty of space between them. The height of the top row from the ground is somewhere between 80 cm and 100 cm, never higher in order to avoid excessive dehydration. The trees do not have any leaves during this period but that is no problem for the logs because the days are short, the air is cold and the sun’s rays have limited strength. The situation alters once spring is on its way. Although the best place for the logs is still in the forest, the trees cannot provide sufficient shade and protection during the  warmer / cloudless days. At the beginning of March, the logs – both old and new, are covered with an agricultural cloth covering or tarpaulin so that a large part of the sun’s rays on sunny days can be reflected.  Every time that I am in the forest I impatiently note the development of the leaves on the young beech trees above the log stacks. The trees this year are taking their time, probably because the day temperature (around 12 – 14 C) is cooler than normal for this time of year. Once the leaves have fully unfolded the cloth coverings can be removed and the forest floor is bathed in shadow. Everything is full of energy, the mycelium is active once more and the logs are getting ready for their first bath of the season!

 

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