Looking for morels in Minnesota's Brainerd Lakes areaI'm new to this area but live on a very wooded lot with lots of deadfall — oak, elm, maple. I'm wondering about dates to start looking. - Jeri from Crosslake, Minn.
I'd guess that the weekend of May 16-17 might be about right for your part of Minnesota, but it all depends on conditions. If there has been a soaking rain in the past week, the temperature has surpassed 70 and, most importantly, the soil is warm, then conditions are ripe for morels. Many people say morels come out when lilacs start to flower.
Keep track of the posts on the Minnesota message board of Morels.com and you'll have a good idea when to look.
You don't want trees so dead they've fallen over. You're looking for trees that have died in the last year or two. They should still have some twigs and bark hanging on, but its branches won't have buds. Look for white speckles on the bark.
Morels show up first in recently burned areas, because the black soil warms up first. Then, look at south-facing hillsides and on the top of sunny hills. At the end of the season, look on north-facing slopes, on the northern edges of woods and in shady ravines.
They like elms, but you could find them under any tree, even pines. Good luck!