Local Ideal Conditions & Surroundings
Go to Flora for photos of trees and plants that are blooming the same time Morels should be popping! Also, Tree Identification page.
On a good year, you can find Morels just about anywhere. The main rule to remember is that there are no rules. But there are many favorable places to look.
Morchella angusticipes is earliest, and tends to like a slightly more acid soil. They will grow under Oak trees, conifer trees, and have been the main variety to be found in the Fire-Burn area, places such as conifer forests that burned the year before, everything is Black, but rich in decaying plant and tree matter.
Morchella semilibera fruits next, usually 7 to 14 days after angusticipes. I have found them only in the woods, under Maples, Poplar, Oaks, Hickory, Ash, and Beech trees. They like a very rich soil. Usually a heavy ground cover of decaying leaves. When they are just popping up, the head is very large with a small stem, and can resemble Morchella angusticipes. As they grow, mainly the stem shoots on up. Often, you may find this variety of Morel in a woods, but never find any other varieties. As a woods is maturing, or if it were logged a few years ago, it takes time for conditions to continually improve to produce Morels. Morels like old, established areas, with little outside disturbances. Morchella semilibera seems to be less sensitive to this matter.
1.Dead Elm Tree With Bark Slipped Off. 2. This Elm was alone in a brushy- field, but had many Morels Under It.
Morchella deliciosa appears about the same time as Morchella semilibera. They do have some specific likes. I have found many of these right along with M. semilibera, but also other specific areas. They like old apple trees where the ground is undisturbed. Old orchards, with even dead trees is good. I have searched an entire woods and found none, then come upon a lonesome old scraggly almost dead appletree at the edge of the woods, and there be 50 under it. They also like large, living, Ash trees. Another good place is under dead and dying Elm trees, where the bark is just beginning to "slip" off of the larger branches. I have simply cut a healthy, living elm tree down, because it was in the way, and the next few years there be Morels under or around the stump. I also personally have a unique spot, that always is dependable. It is a 3 acre pasture, with very old large Beech trees scattered about. I can always find some under each Beechtree. One other notable spot to look is under Sycamore trees in the lowlands. On a good year, they will simply appear in any rich soiled woods.
These were all found under one small 6" diameter Apple tree, 40 total!
A scrubby Appletree- perfect for morels!
Morchella esculenta comes about 7 to 10 days after Morchella deliciosa and like almost identical conditions such as Ash, Dead Elm, Apple, Sycamore, and Beechtrees . But they also like a few other spots. I have found them in higher, un-mowed meadows, left undisturbed for years, and especially along small rivers and streams. Also, old fence rows between pastures is a good place. I have had several reports of people finding them along railroad tracks.
Morchella crassipes is the last to fruit sometimes as much as 5 weeks after Morchella augustipes. I have only occasionally found these in a general woods. I have found these mainly in the lowlands near a steam, or in a meadow, usually near a stream. The ground is usually quite rich, very black. Usually a lot of other undergrowth around. Your heart may stop when you happen upon one of these giants, as I have found them as high as 14", but personally, as far as consuming them, nothing beats the taste and texture of the Grey Morel.
An old tree stump.
Along a river or stream, even sometimes right in the sand!
Also, watch out for spider webs!