How to Harvest Turkey Tail Mushroom

How to Harvest Turkey Tail Mushroom

Turkey Tail Mushrooms are high on the list for any mushroom-foraging enthusiast, not only because of their attractive appearance and delicious colors, but because of the fact that they are packed with flavor. How do you know when to harvest turkey tail mushrooms? The best time to harvest turkey tail mushrooms is while they are still growing. Young mushrooms, those one to two months old, are best to harvest. Fall is a great time to go foraging for turkey tail.

Check the mushrooms for to see if they are white on their underside, which is a sign of good health. If you are a fan of picking turkey tail mushrooms, but are unsure where to look or when to pick up these colorful mushrooms, this guide is for you.

How to Harvest Turkey Tail Mushroom

Turkey Tail Mushrooms may seem like they are healthy and ok to forage, but in reality they may not be. Mushrooms can become rotten pretty fast, degrading rapidly even while still growing in soil. It takes a little bit of experience to first recognize turkey tail mushroom in the wild, and tell the difference between a good mushroom and a bad one.

Turkey Tail Mushrooms are not the only mushrooms to display precise patterns and colors. To distinguish a true turkey tail from a fake, check out a mushrooms surface in sunlight. If you see glittering fuzzies covering the surface, you are looking at a real turkey tail. The look-alike or false turkey tail does not have that kind of fuzz covering its surface.

Another telltale mark would be found on the mushrooms underside. Turkey Tails store their spores in tubes on their underside.

Look for pores, which are at the rate of about three to eight pores per millimeter. That is fairly small, but other mushrooms have pore sizes that are far larger, and many pseudo-turkey tails are smooth on the bottom. You can also check out this video below for more info if you’re more of a visual learner.

Keep an Eye out for White Turkey Tail Mushroom

White turkeytail mushrooms are actually not turkey tail at all. It is another species called the woolly clavate fungus. It has the same shape and patterns of a turkey tail, except for all of its colors. The furry clavate mushroom has uniform white caps, making it easier to distinguish it from a true turkey tail mushroom.

Look out for Old Turkey Tail Mushroom

This is another look-alike of the turkey tail, which is actually pretty close to a real turkey tail, even having the same color patterns on the outside, but under it is another story. The fake turkey tail has shades of brown, reddish, or brown, as opposed to the real turkey tail, which has white underside, leading to a lot of people mistaking it for the old turkey tail.

How Do You Know Where Turkey Tail Mushrooms Will Grow?

Turkey tail mushrooms have been found to grow all over the world. They are found year-round in many places. They like humidity, so you can find them on stumps, in the trunks of hardwood trees, even in conifers. They sometimes grow next to streams, if conditions are right.

How Do You Know When Turkey Tail Is Ready To Harvest?

The first thing you want to look for with turkey tail mushrooms is if they are healthy. You can tell by its vibrant color of rings and its white underside. If the underside is not white, but instead is reddish, tan, or brownish, the mushroom is older and is not edible anymore. Young mushrooms, those that are between one to two months old, are shiny in color with white undersides. These are the mushrooms you want to pick.

Just make sure that no bugs are hiding around inside of the mushroom.

Aside from the distinctive colored rings, edible mushrooms are slim and flexible. As a mushroom grows older, it will grow in size and lose its flexibility. Bend the mushroom over with your fingers to check for pliability. If it bends easily, then it is young and edible. Also, look for the bright white outside ring.

When To Harvest Turkey Tail Mushrooms

You should begin picking your turkey tail mushrooms at about 1- to 2-months-old. These ever-present mushrooms are available all year long, but only the youngest ones are edible. Turkey Tail Mushrooms are available all year long. You can pick them during the winter, provided that they are a month or two old and appear to be in good health, are slim, cool, and are soft.

You can find our favorite capsules, powders, and tincture’s on the following pages of our website and learn more about each individually:

The Best Turkey Tail Mushroom Supplement

The Best Turkey Tail Mushroom Powder

The Best Turkey Tail Mushroom Tincture

Learn more:

Turkey Tail Mushroom and Blood Pressure

How to Make a Turkey Tail Tincture 

About the author

Bruce Wilson

I've studied Mycology and Forest Pathology and love creating content to help other learn more about my passion. Follow along as I continue to explore the amazing world of functional fungi!

Copyright © 2023. All Rights Reserved. Information provided by this website or this company is not a substitute for individual medical advice. Results may vary. Featured products Label information subject to change. Please check the label of your product for up-to-date information. Statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The featured products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Links to products featured on this site will help us earn a commission, if purchased. This helps us continue to create new content and pay website expenses. We appreciate your support!