Mycorrhizal innoculants?

Michael Hagen mhagen at
Mon Dec 1 12:17:05 EST 1997

Larry Caldwell wrote:
> At least this is 100% on topic in bionet.agroforestry, a rarity in
> that beleaguered newsgroup!
> In article <880827439.21343 at>, dwheeler at wrote:
> > Mycorrhizae are fungi that associate with the feeder roots of plants,
> > assisting in water and nutrient absorption. Some have also been found to
> > associate with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, presumably increasing the growth
> > of trees without fertilization.
> Daniel, I have been examining the seedlings that I dip innoculated before
> planting last winter.  The summer of 1996 was death on seedlings here,
> with only one centimeter of rain between June 20 and September 15, and
> 25 days over 100 degrees F.  I lost a large percentage of new seedlings,
> and interplanted the innoculated seedlings among seedlings that survived
> the drought.
> The difference in foliage color between innoculated and uninnoculated
> seedlings is striking.  The innoculated seedlings have a very dark green
> foliage consistent with heavy nitrogen uptake, while uninnoculated
> seedlings are a much lighter green and do not have as many needles.
> I haven't found any truffles yet, but the trees are still very small.
> I have high hopes for next year.
> > mycorrhizae. Many mycorrhizae are apparently more valuable for the
> > mushroom market the the host tree is worth on the timber market: truffles
> > come immediately to mind, which typically sell for several hundred
> > dollars per pound, and can produce several pounds per tree. I have
> Mycorrizae can be a nice sideline, but are pretty labor intensive.  If
> you have a difficult site, just getting into the woods to see if the
> mushrooms are fruiting can be a major project.  Some parts of my
> property are a very sweaty 45 minutes from the house.  Except for
> the bottom of the valley, the land averages a 100% slope, and one
> place you either hike around or a scale vertical rock face.
> Since mushrooms retain their prime condition for such a short period,
> I have resigned myself to losing much of the crop to spoilage.
> > Has anyone examined their trees for truffle production? And if not, why?
> I have seen a couple requests for mycorrhizae suitable for the east coast
> of North America.  Easterners seem to be more mushroom shy than westerners.
> This is understandable given the large numbers of amanitas that grow in
> the east.  Still, there should be some suitable mushrooms there.  I
> wandered through the Georgia woods in October once, and found an abundance
> of fruiting bodies.  I just didn't trust my identification, since they
> were much different from PNW species.
> Alexander H. Smith worked at the University of Michigan, and there should
> be an abundance of info on Great Lakes mycorrizae.
> For some strange reason, the local nurseries don't innoculate seedlings
> while starting them.  Go figure.
> -- Larry

I've been checking my Alders and haven't yet found anything
truffle-like. Am considering planting some DF in the cleared areas and
innoculating it, otherwise I don't have many other host species on the
place since its mostly in Red Cedar and Bigleaf Maple. I figure I'll
need the shade for the ginseng production in 15 or so years. 
Seedling innoculation has been done on some USFS lands for many years.
The FS nursery at McKinleyville Ca has been dipping planting stock since
the late 70's. So has the Simpson nursery at Korbel (Blue Lake), Ca. 
Mike H.

More information about the Ag-forst mailing list