Citizen Science: Turkey Tail on Sweetgum Logs

We assume that Turkey Tail grows well on most tree species, but in interest of being SURE with multiple species we've posed the question to the Citizen Science world. This citizen science study aims to examine if Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor) mushrooms can be cultivated on Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) logs.

Logs, a drill, and an instruction sheet on how to grow Turkey Tail Mushrooms on logs
Turkey tail mushrooms growing on logs
Turkey tail mushrooms growing on the ends of logs

Project Background

At Field & Forest we have tested several mushroom species on Sweetgum, but we have not gathered enough data on whether or not Turkey Tail is a suitable companion. Turkey Tail prefers a fruiting temperature range of 50-80°F and can be found growing on many hardwoods. We have tested and seen success with Chestnut, Reishi, Nameko, Lion's Mane, Comb Tooth, some Oyster, and Shiitake. Sweetgum is native to North America with a low conservation concern and is mostly used for plywood, crates, veneers, and furniture.

Project Description

In agricultural zone 8a, citizen scientist Kathryn Butler, felled five Sweetgum logs for mushroom cultivation on March 20th, 2022. The logs were cut to a size of 40" length x 3-8" diameter. After a rest period, the logs were then inoculated on April 3rd, 2022, with Turkey Tail plug spawn using the drill-and-fill method. The logs were stored under a porch away from sun and wind with easy access to water during incubation.


In Progress - still gathering data


    August 21st, 2022, first fruiting appeared - 26 lb. log produced 3 lbs. of Turkey Tail mushrooms
    October 13, 2022 - Second fruiting, the Turkey Tail mushrooms seem to be performing better in the larger diameter (6-8") Sweetgum logs - 25 lb. log produced 3 lbs. of Turkey Tail mushrooms


Zone Location:
Zone 8a
Project Start Date:
April 3rd, 2022
Project Status:
In Progress
K. Butler