Mycorrhizal innoculants?

dwheeler at teleport.com dwheeler at teleport.com
Tue Dec 2 10:51:41 EST 1997


In article <3482F111.24DC at mail.olympus.net>,
  mhagen at mail.olympus.net wrote:
>
> Larry Caldwell wrote:
> >
> > At least this is 100% on topic in bionet.agroforestry, a rarity in
> > that beleaguered newsgroup!
> >
> > In article <880827439.21343 at dejanews.com>, dwheeler at teleport.com 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.

I know that some mycorrhizae have been introduced into some FS nurseries.
Anyone know what fungi were being introduced? I know that Thelophora
terrestris, which is readily grown in solution, has been used for a long
time. Occasionally I find it fruiting in sandy-dune areas along the
Columbia River, especiall along I-84. While Thelophora can be found here,
it is also native. In addition to what apparently is T. terrestris, there
also appears to be another species which may or may not be T. palmatus. I
find both these species somewhat problematic to key out.

The North American Truffling Society also has slides of an inoculated
tree nursery outside of Canby. It seems that after 25 years of growing
seedling trees, the trees suddenly started to exhibit stunded growth. Dr.
James Trappe was called in, and pronounced the soil nearly devoid of
humus and most beneficial mycorrhizae. He tried to introduce Rhizopogon
truffles to the trees in carefully monitored segments. The inoculated
trees showed marked improvement, growing at least 3 times as fast as
adjacent, non-inoculated trees.

One interesting play I have found Rhizopogons was with seedling Western
hemlock near Mt. St. Helens. The seedlings were growing densely in gravel
along the road, probably about 20,000-30,000 seedlings per acre. Among
these tiny 3-inch tall seedlings were Martellia, Rhizopogon and Endogone
truffles. I suspect these are the typical mycorrhizae of at least Western
hemlock seedlings. But the species found with Western hemlock are seldom
found, if ever, with Douglas fir.

Daniel B. Wheeler
http://www.oregonwhitetruffles.com

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