Growing on Logs (shiitake, maitake, lion’s mane, etc.)

Growing on Logs (shiitake, maitake, lion’s mane, etc.)

Cut logs in mid-summer to late fall but not when they’re budding. Choose those that are about 4-6 inches in diameter and just as with sawdust, you’ll want hardwoods such as oak. Cut the logs into 3-4 ft. lengths, smaller if that’s easier for you to handle. Another source is a tree taken down for other reasons and repurposed.


  • Crock pot or slow cooker
  • Drill with bit appropriate to dowel size if you’re using dowel spawn
  • Angle grinder if you’re inoculating more than 5-6 logs
  • Hand inoculator-several kinds on the market
  • Wax and applicator such as paint brush
  • Spawn, either grain or peg
  • Hammer


Start your wax melting first and foremost, before you start drilling. This will avoid having to wait for the wax to melt when you’re ready for it. You can use either sawdust or peg spawn. Drill hole, fill with spawn, cover with wax. Use your inoculation tool to move inoculant from bag to log if you’re using grain spawn. If using peg spawn, just insert spawn into hole and give it a tap with your hammer if needed.

Helpful tips:

Angle grinder adapters with specialized bits are best if you’re inoculating more than 5 or so logs, unless you have nothing to do for the next week or so. This can be a very time-consuming process.

  • Drill your holes 4-6” apart and stagger rows, so the holes are in a diamond pattern.
  • Cover ends of log with wax if you live in dry climate to retain moisture in log. During dry times soaking the log also helps keep mycelia moist.
  • Be aware that most species will take 1-2 years to colonize, but once the log is colonized, can produce flushes for 5-7 years on some cases.
  • Stack logs on pallets close to ground until ready to fruit.
  • When ready to fruit, stack logs with in square configuration with spaces between logs. it’s much easier to pick and helps maintain a good air flow.



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