The forests and woodlands of Illinois and the Midwest are ecosystems rich with edible wild mushrooms if you know where to look. Trouble is, seasoned wild edible collectors seldom share their 'honey holes', and searching in the wrong spots or at the wrong times will yield nothing but fatigue and frustration. This app can help guide you toward the right patches of woods where you have the best chance of discovering a dinner of foraged fungi!
It is a well-known fact that certain varieties of mushrooms tend to spawn in the vicinity of specific types of trees. This knowledge is what expert foragers use to reliably locate areas that produce mushrooms year after year. In this app, the relationship between tree and mushroom species is clearly outlined for 11 different edible mushrooms including Morels, Chanterelles, Black Trumpets, Lion's Mane, Chicken of the Woods, Hen of the Woods, Hedgehog, Oyster, Lobster, Giant Puffball, and Pheasant's Back.
In addition to defining the link between trees and mushrooms, this app goes one step further. An inventory of millions of data points from forest stands across the state has been filtered and processed to clearly highlight specific areas that have the highest probability of yielding a harvest of mushrooms. These polygons are color-coded by species and attributed with useful information such as Stand Age and Diameter at Breast Height, so you can quickly differentiate between tree types in the map view and target the best areas to search.
This app is designed for the wilderness! Integrated geolocation makes it easy to figure out exactly where you are and track your precise movement, even in the thickest of tree stands. You can download offline map tiles in advance if you are planning to venture beyond the reach of a cellular connection in your quest for fungus. It works just fine in 'Airplane Mode'!
There is a wealth of useful information including descriptions of the different mushrooms and details on their characteristics. These sections even have buttons which will filter the map to show only tree species that are associated with a target mushroom! It is truly that easy...you want to find morels? Turn on the app, Show Morel Trees, and plot your GPS location to find the nearest forest stands where morels likely spawn.
You can manually toggle given tree species on or off if you're an arborist specifically interested in forestry rather than mushrooms. This app is a great way to discover old forest stands or to learn how to identify certain types of trees by look. If you are interested in finding birch bark, oak acorns, apple trees, sugar maples, walnuts, or hickory nuts, just turn on a given layer and eliminate the guessing and frustration! Need some pine needles and cones for an art project? Pick from thousands of woodland patches laden with beds of them!
The data is attributed with Unit Names from the Public Land dataset - this way you can determine the name of the areas you are considering hunting and obtain any necessary permissions. Fortunately, it is legal to forage for personal consumption on most state-owned lands in the Midwest, but it is always best to be sure!
Mushroom hunting is not a precise science, and it takes time and effort to be successful. While there is never any guarantee that you will find what you seek when foraging for wild fungi, this app will greatly increase your chances to rapidly locate the species that you desire. It was created by a naturalist and certified mushroom forager and has been tested and verified to work! Enjoy this app and share it with your close friends...but respect the power contained within and leave some mushrooms for the next person or animal to find!