Over the years we've located hundreds of key areas for the sustainable collection of chaga. One of the ways we can manage wholesale volumes of chaga is by rotating from one area to another over the years. This gives the forest a break allowing the chaga to recover in our great Canadian forest.
Chaga's life cycle is still a mystery to scientist. What is clear is that when chaga falls to the ground it will make a bed of mycelium (root like structure of the mushroom). Chaga is also known to grow commonly in the sections of trees that show past damage. We use this knowledge to help replace what we've taken by spreading chaga through the forest during the harvesting period.
Chaga grows both internally and externally with the living tree host. Multiple externally pieces of chaga can be found on just one tree. Collecting chaga requires only that the external pieces are harvest. You should never cut into the tree while collecting chaga the inner part of the chaga is neither sellable nor useful for medical purposes.
Chaga should only be collected from living trees, when collected from dead trees you will notice the chaga is soft and the inner colour of the chaga become black. Do not harvest chaga during the spring period while sap is running through the trees. At these times the chaga is actively leaching sap from the tree creating a red liquid that bleeds from the outer layer of the chaga.