A walk down Chaga lane

15 Apr


Actually this is one of my favorite locations for gathering chaga over the last few years and I usually travel between 500 and 1,000 feet distance parallel to this road which normally in the early evening has a car  drive by every 5 minutes or so. This is a chaga hot spot as I have collected some huge chaga on yellow birch just 1/4 mile away from where I’m walking tonight though this area here is primarily white birch.


Most of the chaga here tonight are early in their development and I will not gather any of these though I will possible harvest some in the next 2 to 3 years.


All of these birch trees are still able to produce leaves but probably within the next 5 years the chaga mycelium within the tree will have completed its cycle. A few years before a chaga begins to appear on a tree the mycelium has already sealed the tree’s fate so harvesting chaga while the tree is still mostly alive makes no difference to the tree’s lifespan and the best qualities in Chaga are most available while the tree is still sharing its nutrients. Older Chaga from already dead birch trees are not suitable for making tea, a good example of this is the large Chaga shaped like an angel in my (Chaga page) it was nice to look at but not a useful medicinal mushroom and I hope no one is gathering to use or selling old chaga collected of dead birch trees to anyone.


Here is a tree I harvested 4 lbs from 2 years ago, it is still producing twigs with new buds and the chaga is also growing back as you can only see a little of the light brown area at the bottom of the Chaga where it was chopped.


This photo is a couple new Chaga emeraging from this same tree.


Here is the top section of this same tree with a couple of nice Chaga horns just under the top branches. A large birch like this one may produce many lbs of Chaga.


Now I’m on my way back to my car travelling on the opposite side of the road a few hundred feet in the woods and I finally found my first one over on this side after check this area a few times over the last 3 years,  it is quite a nice one as well, as it will be easy to harvest being at ground level and should increase in size in a year or 2. The Chaga future is looking good as long as a clear-cut doesn’t roll down the lane. ciao


6 Responses to “A walk down Chaga lane”

  1. Jay April 15, 2013 at 10:26 pm #

    Hi, what are the qualities of chaga? By the way, great to read your posts again!

    • 1left April 15, 2013 at 11:38 pm #

      Jay, My own experience with Chaga has proven it a good body regulator, (blood pressure, emotions, skin, energy, elimination) and I suspect it flushes toxins, heavy metals and clears acidity blockages in the body balancing our PH level. It has a very high ORAC value and the main key may be an absorbable form of Betulinic acid, I find it a very subtle and pleasant tonic to drink as a tea or with fruit juices. Lots of internet info out there. Historically used by the country folks of Siberia as a tea substitute for the last few centuries

      • Jay April 16, 2013 at 12:47 am #

        A parasite-being with benefits!
        With a lack of Birch trees and suitable cold weather, Chaga is not something I have come across around here.
        Plenty of other fungal-types here though, with seemingly not dis-similar qualities.
        Looking forward to more
        Kind wishes, J

  2. mobius faith April 16, 2013 at 8:32 am #

    This was a welcome surprise this morning. So good to see you posting again. Missed reading your work.

  3. cara April 16, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    Thank you for your post, I didn’t know that chaga had a prime time for collection or a time not to collect them rather. I tend to only collect small pieces that I can easily carry while hiking but this is making me think twice about what I have right now.

    • 1left April 16, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

      Hi Cara, If gathering Chaga during the cold months when there are no leaves on the trees look for small twig growth, they usually drop off a dead birch very quickly so small twigs on any branch are a good sign of a healthy nutrient rich chaga onboard. Chaga you can remove by gently wiggling is a sign they are well past their prime. If the tree wood is soft this to indicates overmaturity of the chaga.
      In my chaga page—- image 9 (chaga angel) and the —–2nd last image (chaga witch) are both too old to be used for tea as the interior tree wood was soft and the chagas were powdery and flaky. Mind you some very healthy large Chagas are hard to corky and sometimes almost fluffy inside and can be hard to easy to cut with a knife so Chaga texture is variable, thus stick with the tree as the main key to the vibrance of your Chaga.

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