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Spalting my birch. #2: 45 days later.

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Blog entry by JeremyPringle posted 610 days ago 1455 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Does this really work? Part 2 of Spalting my birch. series Part 3: The extreamly unexciting conclussion. »

So as the title says, it has been 45 days since I put some birch in some dirt. I have been very impatiently waiting and check on it every few days and add water and do what I think I can do for those little fun-guys. Well I think they dont like me very much, because they are not coming out to play.

So I decided to take matters into my own hands….? Seriously though, I decided to mix things up a bit. I split the chunck in half, and put them face down into the dirt (about 2 weeks ago). Then it occured to me (two days ago) to introduce a pre-spalted air-dried specimen. Thankfully I have lots of spalted stuff around the house, and quite a few pieces of air dried birch that was harvested near a little town in the Rocky Mountains. I used them to make some pens, but for some reason I cannot bring myself to discard those little tiny cut offs.

So I sifted through my scrap pile and found 3 little cut offs, and soaked them in water to hopefully awaken the funginside!

Then I made a little dirt pile on the face of the wood and added some water to that and then put the little scrap on top and partially covered them.

Two days later there there is some new colours. Things a looking a little more promising, so I will keep monitoring to see what happens. Oh, I also elevated my tube off the floor, dont know or not, but that might be a factor as the floor is cold.

Disclaimer: In no way, shape or form am I taking this experiment seriously. So neither should you. My goal is less about creating usable spalted wood, and more about feeding my own curiosity.

Thanks for reading.



14 comments so far

View Brit's profile

Brit

5131 posts in 1479 days


#1 posted 610 days ago

Serious experiment or not, you’ve certainly got my attention. Looking forward to seeing if it worked or not. Thanks for trying it.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

553 posts in 948 days


#2 posted 610 days ago

Jeremy,
There are a number of articles in FWW (search for Spalting wood) on this topic.They might help you make progress. Best of luck.
Jim

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View Bagtown's profile

Bagtown

1711 posts in 2366 days


#3 posted 610 days ago

Just an observation.
That looks like potting soil.
Most potting soils are heated to a high enough temperature to kill anything alive in it.

You can buy spalting fungi here.
Also that site has a lot of interesting info on spalting.

-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

View stefang's profile

stefang

12969 posts in 1970 days


#4 posted 609 days ago

Hi Jeremy. I used to spilt log cut-offs for turning about 15” long and about 10” diam. I just put one end into my flower bed and left it there for two or three months. It doesn’t hurt to turn it over onto the other end after a month or so. We have a very wet climate here so the process went pretty fast in the summer. Birch spalts especially well since it has so little tannin in it.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Grumpymike's profile

Grumpymike

1068 posts in 951 days


#5 posted 609 days ago

I think your idea of seeding (Sporing?) is intriguing, I will watch for the results.
Bagtown is right, potting soil is sterile, and maybe the spalting bugs live in natural soil??

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View JeremyPringle's profile

JeremyPringle

281 posts in 1110 days


#6 posted 608 days ago

To clarify on the soil issue:
Yes, I used potting soil, the ground here is frozen. I know potting soil has been ‘sterilized’ to kill bugs and weed seeds and all that. But it was my only option. My pictures in post one were done quickly and do not show somethings that I did after I took the pictures and I did fail to mention some things. I dug through some snow and got a bunch of leaves that were on the ground, and mixed them with the soil to try and contaminate it as much as I could (you can see the leaves in pic in this post), I also added some dirt that I was able to scrap off the top layer in my garden. I also thought that using tap water would not be dirty enough either, so I melted a bunch of snow and used that as my water.

View Grumpymike's profile

Grumpymike

1068 posts in 951 days


#7 posted 608 days ago

The idea of adding leaf mulch, might just do the trick as the leaves are decomposing themselves.
I will look forward to your next post or update to see how things are doing. I still like the idea of using bits of spalted wood as seed … Or examples, see this is what I want you to do :)

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View Bagtown's profile

Bagtown

1711 posts in 2366 days


#8 posted 608 days ago

I agree with GrumpyMike on the seeding of it with already spalted wood.
Of course then I wonder if the spalted pieces you are using have been kiln dried?
Well, I guess there’s only one way to find out….
Keep going.
Hope you don’t mind Jeremy, adding you to my buddies list to be able to see the outcome of this science experiment.

Mike

-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

View Greg's profile

Greg

281 posts in 1510 days


#9 posted 608 days ago

Very cool. I will be watching for follow-ups!

-- You don't have a custom made heirloom fly fishing Net? http://www.Sierra-Nets.com

View JeremyPringle's profile

JeremyPringle

281 posts in 1110 days


#10 posted 608 days ago

Bagtown: I know that birch stuff I am using as spores is air dried. I know a guy who in his spare time builds log cabines in the Rockies, and he finds this stuff all the time in the forest. He cut a chunk up into 3/4×3/4 and about 12” long and gave me about 30 of them.

View Bagtown's profile

Bagtown

1711 posts in 2366 days


#11 posted 608 days ago

nice.
should work.

-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

View tirebob's profile

tirebob

123 posts in 1490 days


#12 posted 608 days ago

Might as well just throw some mushrooms in the pile too!

View JeremyPringle's profile

JeremyPringle

281 posts in 1110 days


#13 posted 608 days ago

Funny you should mention mushrooms…. found this growing a few hours ago.

View tirebob's profile

tirebob

123 posts in 1490 days


#14 posted 606 days ago

^^^AWESOME!!!^^^

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