Timber Value vs "Agroforestry" Value

Daniel B. Wheeler dwheeler at ipns.com
Tue Oct 2 22:23:36 EST 2001

dkipling at bcit.ca (David Kipling) wrote in message news:<802bbd04.0110021209.16d8bf96 at posting.google.com>...
> I once saw some rough calculations that sought to show that during a
> 100-year rotation the dollar value of pine mushrooms in a given
> Pacific North West old growth habitat exceeded the dollar value of two
> x 100-year-old red cedar harvests on the same hectarage.
> Does anyone have, or recall, such calculations?
I remember the study David. But don't have the citation.

The study(ies?) was done in southern Oregon by graduate students
attending Oregon State University. The study I saw would have been
done about 1994 or later, since it quoted prices for retail matsutake
(Japanese for pine mushrooms, aka Tricholoma (= Armillaria)
magnilevare) at its highest recorded point. I don't know of the
reference to two 100-year-old Western red cedar harvests in the study.
But there was reference to the Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) which
most of the mushrooms were found with, and their comparative value.

I would be terribly surprised if any study compared cedar harvest(s)
to mushrooms income, since Thuja plicata has no known mycorrhizal
partners to my knowledge. It is the only cedar that _does not_ form
mycorrhiza, although it loves to grow in close association with trees
that do form mycorrhiza.

Possibly an internet search through Google would yeild a citation for
Tricholoma ponderosa and Lodgepole pine timber harvests.

It _is_ my opinion, however, that several mycorrhizal fungi including
Tuber gibbosum var. autumnale and T. gibbosum var. gibbosum are more
valuable than their associated trees. This may also be true for other
mycorrhizal fungi such as chanterelles, Boletus edulis, and Tricholoma
magnivelare _if_ someone could demonstrate how such fungi might be
commercially grown.

Dr. Eric Danell has cultivated Cantharellus cibarius in Europe, but
has been unable to cultivate C. formosus. Dr. David Hosford has done
much of the reliable work on Tricholoma magnilevare research in Japan,
but has suggested the mycelium may need to grow for 20 years to
establish itself enough to produce the first crop of mushrooms. I have
cultivated several species of Tuber and other hypogeous fungi, and Dr.
Ian Hall has documented Rhizopogon rubescens production in New

Daniel B. Wheeler

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