Dry summer and cool fall means less mushrooms in Estonian forests

Wild mushrooms in January 2020.
Wild mushrooms in January 2020. Source: Kalmer Saar/minupilt.err.ee

Due to this year's dry summer and cool fall, mushrooms have become much more scarce than usual in Estonia's forests. However, if the relatively warm weather continues over the coming weeks, mushroom pickers could soon find they have little trouble filling their baskets.

Paavo, who frequently collects mushrooms in the forests of Põlva County, said, that although there have always been chanterelles in the woods so far this fall, it is only now that leccinum mushrooms have started to grow.

"I'm still waiting for those good days when I can quickly fill a bucket or two. There were quite a lot of chanterelles here two weeks ago. There are no russula at all, the leccinum started to come in this week, (but before that), there was a complete lack of them," he said.

This year, large amounts of mushrooms have only started to grow in September, which is later than usual.

According to Külli Kalamees-Pani, nature education coordinator at the University of Tartu Natural History Museum, this year's mushroom-picking season has been affected considerably by the summer heatwave.

"The mushroom season is a total mess this year because, all through August, it was dry and there was a drought. After that, it rained in different places and at different times, so the mushrooms didn't appear for several weeks. They grew a little bit, but there has been no big mushroom season. I think it's on the way now," said Kalamees-Pani.

Experienced mushroom pickers say, that when suillus granulatus mushrooms start to grow in the forest, it means that the fall picking season has arrived.

"There is still a lot of hope, that the last two weeks of September will be a good mushroom season, and that the leccinum and the milkcaps (lactarius) will appear in large amounts, so everyone will be able to start picking," said Kalamees-Pani.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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