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I have a juvenile lime tree (1-3 years old, unsure of exact age) growing in a large pot, and I also have a jar of tree elm oyster mushroom spawn. The lime tree is currently healthy. The spawn is slightly contaminated with bacteria, though the oyster mushroom appears to be fighting it off. Would it be safe to introduce the oyster mushroom mycelium to the soil?

Here is my reasoning:

  • Oyster mushrooms are aggressive, but from what I've looked up, they do not attack healthy trees.
  • The mushrooms might help improve soil quality by decomposing dead roots, and might also outcompete fungal diseases.
  • I've heard (although apocryphally) that people often plant contaiminated grain spawn in the ground and still get good yields.

Here is why I'm hesitant:

  • Nothing I've found has any information on the interaction of oyster mushrooms with juvenile trees, and I worry that it might be unable to fight it off.
  • I'm not sure if the contaminant may attack the tree. However, if there was no contamination, would it still be fine to add it to a juvenile tree?
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  • Why risk it, if you value the tree ? Jan 11 at 2:12
  • 1
    Well, if it does work, I get mushrooms and decomposition out of it.
    – Astrid Yu
    Jan 11 at 18:56

1 Answer 1

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My limited experience with a couple of other types of mushrooms:

  • Extremely sensitive to all the moisture/substrate/existing flora compared to plants.
  • I was warned mushrooms absorb plenty of chemicals from the substrate and store most of them. So a mushroom you've been growing for years can suddenly kill you whole family if you just pour some mercury in the substrate. None of this is sourced so could(hopefully) be an urban legend.
  • Mushroom and plant "substrate" are fundamentally complementary, so an elaborate procedure for swapping them makes sense.

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