What Trees Do Morels Grow Under? Explained

If you are a lover of mushrooms, you are certain to adore morels and want to go out and forage some for yourself.

However, these mushrooms are notoriously hard to find, so where do you even begin? It just so happens that morel mushrooms do have some trees that they prefer to grow under, so this is a good place to start!

Stick around because I am about to tell you just which trees to keep an eye out for when you are seeking morel mushrooms!

What Trees Do Morels Grow Under?

Morel mushrooms tend to prefer dead or dying trees for their primary environment. However, morels also typically like to grow around elm, ash, and apple trees. Some morels also like cherry trees, aspens, and even balsam trees.

That being said, not every morel is the same, and different types of morel mushrooms will prefer different trees.

Which Trees Do Different Morels Grow Under?

Some grow under elm, others grow under ash, apple, or cherry trees. Since not every type of morel mushroom will prefer growing under the same types of trees, I will now talk you through the different trees that different morels grow under.

The Common Morel

morel next to a flower

This is the most common and widespread morel. It is a yellow morel found in the east and west coastal areas of North America. These morels like hardwood trees.

They tend to like growing under aspen, elm, ash, balsam poplar, and sycamore trees. However, it is not uncommon to also find these morels under pear, apple, and cherry trees. These morels have also been found under conifers too on occasion.

Yellow Morels

There are 4 other yellow morels besides the common morel.

M.cryptica looks like the common morel in the great lakes, it is also found under hardwoods, such as ash, elm, apple, and sometimes tulip trees.

M.virginiana is found in the south of the US, and it is mostly found beneath tulip trees. M.diminutiva is found in the east of the U.S. and is fond of oak, hickory, tulip, and ash trees. Finally, M.prava is found in the US and Canada and is found around conifers and hardwoods, especially oaks and pines near bodies of water.

Black Morels

What Trees Do Morels Grow Under

There are 12 black morels.

M.angusticeps is found in the east of North America around hardwoods. It seems to prefer asen, ash, cherry, and tulip trees. M.Septentrionalis, though, will sometimes grow from rotting wood, it prefers debris and can occasionally be found under aspen, and ash trees.

M.brunnea is found in the west of North America and tends to grow beneath oak and Pacific Madrone trees. M.importuna is a morel usually found away from trees in planters, gardens, and urban environments.

M.synderi is found in the west of North America and is closely associated with conifer trees, usually preferring white fir, Douglas fir, and ponderosa pine. Finally, M.frustrata is a black morel that is yellow, found in the west of North America under oak and Pacific Madrone. Although this morel can also show up under sugar pine, white fir, ponderosa pine, and Douglas fir trees.

Burn-Site Morels

There are some other black morels, such as M.septimelata, M. capitata, M.sextelata, and M.tomentosa which are all burn-site morels. This means that they specifically grow in places that have seen a fire.

All of these morels can be found in the western areas of North America in locations of conifer burn sites. They tend to sprout up in the spring after a fire, and then continue to grow in the same spot for years, although in smaller numbers.

Half-Cap Morels

There are 2 more types of black morels that have weird caps in comparison to the rest of the morel species. They are very indistinguishable in terms of how they look. All prefer different unique ecosystems and are separated geographically by the Rockies.

The first, M.populiphila is found in the northwestern areas of North America, typically growing under black cottonwood trees at the bottom of rivers. Alternatively, there are M. punctipes which are found on the eastern side of the Rockies. This morel grows beneath hardwoods, similar to the common morel.

White Morels

White morels are something of an oddity. They are donned with white ridges, darker pits and they bruise a red-brown color. They grow in areas you would not think to look at, such as your yard! You may find them on roadsides, in planters, or even in mulch beds!


What Trees Are Morels Associated With?

Morels are usually associated with hardwood trees. Most morels will grow beneath ash, oak, elm, and aspen trees. However, morels are also associated with burn sites thanks to the four types of morels that tend to grow in locations that have seen a conifer forest fire.

What Plants Are Associated With Morels?

The trees under which morels grow are the most prominent association with morels. However, dandelions are also associated with morels, as they grow everywhere and are always available during the morel season.

What Flowers Grow Near Morels?

Dandelions typically grow near morels, common violets also tend to grow near morels. However, they tend to grow near/around morels that grow in open areas or yards, such as white morels.

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