Chaga Mushroom Harvesting

I harvested this tree in the pictures below first in 2006 and then harvested it again in 2010. And as you can see, I did not disturb the inner part of the tree by digging into the tree.  It remains sealed and does not harm the Xylem or the Pith of the tree, by doing this, the Chaga will continue to grow as long as the tree lives. I will go back and harvest it again in 2014.

Sad news folks, I went back to this tree today 26/01/2014 and someone has beat me to it, not to worry though,  it must have been one of my guys because the tree still looks strong and healthy and was harvested correctly so , there's always 2018 if I can get to it first that is.

Most trees that die soon after being harvested for Chaga is caused by the harvesters digging or chiseling into the tree to get all of the Chaga out, this practice results in further damage being done to the structure of the tree. I was a certified Arborist for over 20 years and teach  my harvesters personally how to harvest these trees, adhering to the I.S.A. (International Society of Arboriculture) of pruning standards.

Yes, it is true that the Chaga will eventually kill the tree, but this is a big healthy tree and because it has only one infection, will live for many many more years with proper care. If the the tree has many infections, then it will die within four to five years, and you may not get another harvest from the tree.

At least another 4 years and 1 more harvest, I am hoping!

Do not harvest Chaga from a dead tree!  If the tree is dead, the Chaga will be dead as well, and will have 0 medicinal values. Teas made from dead Chaga will be very bitter with a rather unpleasant taste.

Do not harvest Chaga smaller than a grapefruit size.( 7/lbs to 10/lbs) Leave these smaller ones to grow for a couple of more years. I myself put my hand on the Chaga, and if any part of my fingers touch the tree, I leave it to grow for a couple more years. If harvesters continue to take all they see as they are now, then we will have very little left for future generations. Let's all try to be Mother Natures little gardeners, and learn to farm her bounty sustainably. Also unless you are harvesting Chaga for your own consumption, stop harvesting when the sap starts running in the Birch trees, it is at this time that the mushroom will have as much as 80% water content and will be flushed of nutrients until the next fall when all trees are gathering their water and nutrients for the coming winter. In the fall we wait until we have 20 straight nights of 5 or below C. this is when we know that the trees have gone dormant for the winter and the Chaga is at it's peak  nutrient & enzyme values. We then harvest through the fall and winter as long as we can, and then in the spring again until  the sap starts running! We do not harvest Chaga through the summer months at all as I see others doing on YouTube. 
 The picture below is a perfect example of what you DO NOT want to do to the tree while harvesting, as this will kill the tree for sure !!
Chaga on Birch tree

The picture on the left is a perfect example of what not to do to the tree.  As you can see, the pick-end of this axe (nice axe though) is driven almost clear through the heart of this tree.

If this tree wasn't dead before, it is now!

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If you deserve the best, then we have what you deserve!

 I am not the Creator nor the designer of this gift, but I am however one of Mother Natures little gardeners and do respect her laws. If we wound her a little bit, she will heal and give us more in time, but if we wound her too deeply and beyond her ability to heal, then there will be none for any of us!

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