Mushroom agroforestry

dwheeler at dwheeler at
Fri Sep 5 01:02:42 EST 1997

In article <19970822203501.QAA07959 at>,
  rga3x at (Rga3x) wrote:
> Inoculating with mycorrhizal fungi is easy, if you have spore-producing
> mature speciments.  Simply grind up
> old caps in a blender, delute with much water, and spray
> or pour around the trees you want to inoculate. No spawn is
> used; simply, the spores themseleves.  More info is available
> in the search-by-subject page of
> Good luck!  Ralph Arnold

Sorry to burst the bubble, but it is more complex.

Ralph is right to say that some mycorrhizal fungi need only a mature
spore- bearing fungus and water. Access to a back-pack sprayer helps
distribute the spores faster and farther than dripping it on the ground.

This above method seems to work with Boletus and Rhizopogon sps. It DOES
NOT work with Tuber sps. At least some Pacific Northwest Tuber spores
need to be in close proximity to yeast propagules to germinate in any
quantity. And probably 1,000-10,000 spores are necessary to start a new

For this reason, a California Red-backed vole fecal pellet is ideal.
Chris Maser has suggested the vole produces 300 fecal pellets a day. Each
pellet contains more than 100,000 truffle spores.

Charles Lefebre examined a producing Clackamas County, Oregon truffle
farm in July to examine nearby rootlets of fruiting Tuber ascocarps. What
he found was unexpected. He found no identifiable Tuber mycorrhizae.
Instead, almost every rootlet appeared to be inoculated with Rhizopogon
mycorrhizae. This strongly suggests a replacement or progression of
mycorrhizal fungi as trees mature. I.E., what works for seedling trees
may have little consequence for trees of 10- 30 years.

Early in the Clackamas County stand's history, Rhizopogon, Martellia,
Barssia and Hymenogaster were common. These species are today quite rare.
Ten years ago, Tuber were present under perhaps 1 in 20-25 trees. Today
they are found under nearly every tree. This may have had something to do
with inoculating the site with Rhizopogons early in the stand's history.

This suspicion is carried out by examination of stands very close to
existing truffle stands, usually trees of the same or comparable age.
Truffles of any species are rare here. In fact, I have yet to find Tubers
in the closest stand, which is less than 20 feet away from the inoculated

For more information on truffles, see the website below.

For information on inoculation of existing young Douglas fir Christmas
tree farms, e-mail me at dwheeler at

Daniel B. Wheeler

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