“Not experienced in 50 years”: The mushrooms are dying of thirst
Created: 08/19/2022, 2:45 p.m
By: Michael Seeholzer
A woman walks past a chestnut boletus mushroom.
This year the mushroom seekers in the district of Ebersberg have bad cards - so far at least.
Whether that will change depends on the rain.
The extreme drought has so far prevented the growth of porcini and Co. in the Ebersberg district.
A few showers are not enough to change that.
– Even if rain should fall in the next few days, the consequences of the lack of precipitation so far will remain visible, the drought will be visible in the annual rings of the trees for centuries anyway: "We are currently experiencing extreme drought near the surface," says Michael Waldherr.
"You can see that from the fact that the beeches are already discolouring." Poor conditions for the local mushroom world.
Waldherr is the deputy head of the Wasserburg forest enterprise.
From here the Ebersberg forest is looked after.
When the trees are bad, the mushrooms are bad too
The forest area is currently extremely dry.
The trees are stressed.
And when the trees aren't doing well, their best friend isn't doing well either: the mushrooms.
Numerous species live in community with them.
Biologists call this symbiosis.
"If there was a lot of rain, that could change quickly," says Waldherr about the prospects for the mushroom season.
But a few showers wouldn't make up for that, he says.
More of a heavy downpour.
But that is not in sight.
"I've been eating mushrooms for 50 years, but I've never experienced anything like this," reports mushroom expert Günter Baumgartner from Grafing.
In the spring he found a few deer.
That's what the chanterelles are called in Bavaria.
After that it was over.
Not a single summer mushroom so far, no porcini, no red caps, no boletus.
The Ebersberg forest is actually "a good water reservoir".
Mushroom expert says: The numerous drainages are also to blame
Baumgartner describes the situation in the small wooden farmhouses.
This situation is also due to numerous drainage systems throughout the district, which drain the fields.
"They have to get out at some point," says Baumgartner, who was also the district chairman of the Bund Naturschutz, and dares to look to the future.
"It won't work any other way."
For ten years now, Grafinger has been observing how the subsoil is getting drier and drier.
As a result, mushrooms no longer grow, or only in a very short vegetation period.
"It can happen that you carry your basket for a walk for three hours in vain."
The Bavarian state government is not entirely innocent of the dryness underground.
"Mounds of foam, overturned and stinking water are a thing of the past," the State Office for the Environment is rightly pleased about the fact that the "first development of households with modern wastewater disposal" has now been completed.
Almost every single hamlet is now connected to the sewage system.
In the last 70 years, 35 billion euros have been spent on this.
But one thought was neglected: "Every canalization measure is also a drainage measure," confirms Baumgartner.
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Growing mushrooms on a straw bale in the garden
There is no water in the area and the mushrooms, among other things, lose it.
Without mushrooms there is no forest in the long run.
And although the importance of this community for the exchange of nutrients in the soil is so important, mushrooms are not specially cared for in forestry operations.
"That goes with normal forestry," informs Waldherr, pointing out the "skid lanes" for logging.
They prevent the forest floor from being compacted, which is bad for the fungi.
Privately, you can grow them in the garden on a bale of straw.
Also in the Lower Nature Conservation Authority, the mushrooms are more of a species that is shown to have a subordinate interest.
There is no mushroom specialist staff there.
If questions need to be clarified, the expertise of the Bavarian Botanical Society is used, the authority confirms on request.
You can find more current news from the district of Ebersberg at Merkur.de/Ebersberg.
"No rain, no water, no mushrooms," Baumgartner sums up the current situation.
"I still have a few dried ones and a few frozen ones from last season, but when they're gone I'll find another hobby," he says, not optimistic about future harvests.
Those walking in the forest seem to share his pessimism.
"I haven't seen any guests with a mushroom basket in the beer garden until now," says Rosemarie Dachs, who has recently been running the popular excursion restaurant Sauschütt again together with her husband Peter.
"He also goes to the mushrooms," says the landlady about her husband, but nothing has come of it this year.
But the innkeeper thinks long-term: If it rains these days, it's not exactly ideal for the beer garden business at the moment, "but maybe the mushrooms will come back then," she says happily.
However, after periods of extreme drought, it can take up to two weeks for the fungus to start growing.
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