Mycoforestry III

dwheeler at dwheeler at
Tue Sep 9 01:01:24 EST 1997

This is the last post regarding fungi I have cultivated in the past 15
years. The other posts are availble from bionet.agroforestry, if you
are interested.

SCLERODERMA AREOLATUM, first inoculated accidentally in my backyard in
Portland, Oregon with Italian Spruce-pine. (If you know the scientific
name for this species, please e-mail me). I had collected S. areolatum
from a nearby landscaping project, had sliced same and dried it on a
wood pile in my backyard. Then the rains came, and washed an abundant
spore load into the soil near the nearly planted spruce-pine in 1986.
By June of 1987, another collection of S. areolatum had been
collected. This genera of fungi is responsible for fatalities among
pot-bellied pigs, and is generally considered poisonous. So most
people ignore it. But because it is sometimes confused for truffles, I
collect it and similar species on a regular basis. And advantage to
cultivating Scleroderma species is that they are widely mycorrhizal. I
have collected Sclerodermas from the following tree species: Sweet
gum, Oregon White oak, Easter Red oak, Red alder, Douglas fir, Italian
Spruce-pine, Black walnut, birch, rhododendron, and chestnut.
Sclerodermas probably can be found with other tree species as well,
and has been reported from Australia with eucalypt plantations.

SCLERODERMA CEPA was inoculated at the same time and place as S.
areolatum. It began fruiting at the same month, but two-three weeks
later. I now associate it fruiting with hotter weather patterns.

SCLERODERMA HYPOGAEUM is a common fungus in some Douglas fir
plantations in Clackamas County, Oregon. I first intentionally
inoculated with it in July, 1992, transferring it from the east side
of a plantation to the west side. Production didn't show up until
nearly a year later in May, 1993. This may be just as well. Because
this species fruits underground, it is fairly easy to mistake for
Tuber species. Mature specimens are readily identifiable when sliced
open, due to a dark brown to blackish powdery spore mass inside. But
when immature, the fungus resembled Alpova in some ways. Fortunately,
it has a relatively thick peridium, even when it is epigeous.

SCLERODERMA LAEVE is among the largest of the Sclerodermas. I first
cultivated it in Portland, probably with Italian Spruce-pine. A second
inoculation has been proven, since it has traveled some distance and
now fruits some years in direct association with an Italian oregano in
my back yard. Or, considering the oregano in only 30 feet away from
the Italian Spruce-pine, it is associated with both plants. I have
also collected massive fruitings of this species under Lodgepole pine
in sand dunes near Cape Tillamook on the Oregon Coast.

STEREUM HIRSUTUM, first cultivated unintentionally on shiitake-
inoculated logs of Oregon White oak in View Washington. Some bedlogs
may already be inoculated with this fungus, but may not be obvious
until cut. Make sure side branches of logs have healed completely
before harvesting for shiitake bedlogs. It was first inoculated in
January, 1990 and seen fruiting first in October, 1991.

STROPHARIA RUGOSA-ANNULATA, attempted to be cultivated in View, WA. in
January, 1990. I created a bed of fresh-chipped Red alder within a
framework of 2x4s under Red alder. While the chips degraded quickly, I
saw no fruiting of S. rugosa-annulata, suggesting this method does not
always work. This was doubly degrading, because near a beaver pond
200-300 feet away a large patch of native S. rugosa-annulata was
collected for the OMS Mushroom show in 1992, under a Red alder killed
by rime-ice.  So did I "grow" this supposedly easy to grow mushroom? I
don't think so.

TRAMETES VERISCOLOR, first unintentially inoculated in February, 1982
on Oregon White oak logs, and first observed fruiting from these logs
on September, 1982. I have been using a matchet, a combination tool
similar to a machete and hatchet, designed to go through an inch-thick
Vine maple stem in one blow. It also makes a good log scraper.
Unfortunately, scraping fruiting Trametes from a potential bed log is
also a method of inoculating this ubiquitous fungi.

TRICHOLOMA MAGNIVELARE was first inoculated at near View, WA under
Douglas fir in October, 1995. According to Dr. David Hosford, the
mycelium grows quite slowly. And while preparing the site for
inoculation, I found existing Leucangium carthusiana. So even if this
is successful, I may have lost. So far I have seen no fruiting of this
mushroom, but suspect inoculation may require 3-5 years before the
mycelium is sufficiently established to produce a mushroom.

TUBER CALIFORNICUM, or California Black truffle, is a small, nearly
globose succulent truffle often found near Western hemlock, and rarely
with other species. I have found it with Douglas fir and Cascara also.
I inoculated this with Western hazel in October of 1988 on Peterson's
Butte on privately owned land. I collected fruiting bodies of the
fungus in February, 1989 at the same place. This would be tremendously
rapid inoculation. Another hypothesis is that inoculated where the
mycelium already existed. But I had not collected it there before.

TUBER GIBBOSUM, or Oregon White truffle, I first inoculated in June of
1986 near Beavercreek, Oregon. The original plantation of Douglas fir
had rare fruitings of this fungus, and I had already cleared
attempting inoculation of several fungi with the land owner. In 1985-
6, approximately one in every 20-25 trees had fruiting Tubers with
them. Many of these were identified by Dr. Trappe as "Tuber species,
immature". Using T. gibbosum collected on the property, I inoculated
several rows in June, 1986. While small Tubers were abundant under
these trees in 1987, I did not consider the inoculation complete until
mature truffles were collected in March of 1989. By this time, many of
the truffles collected were quarter-sized or larger. Tuber gibbosum is
species specific with Douglas fir.

TUBER GIGANTEUM, first inoculated probably with the same inoculation
as T. gibbosum, but not identified until much later. This inoculation
I remember was done in June 1987, and resulted in fruitings by March
of 1989. I identify T. giganteum from T. gibbosum from wider venae
externae on the peridium, a much darker (almost black in some
specimens) gleba, and a fruiting time much later than the currently
accepted Tuber gibbosum fruitings. Dr. Trappe is now working on re-
identification of T. gibbosum and T. giganteum based on this data. In
the meantime, it appears that the dark-colored spring Tuber giganteum
may be the original collection of T. gibbosum from California by Dr.
H. Harkness near San Francisco in 1878, and described by Harkness in

TUBER MURINUM was at one time quite prevalent in the Beavercreek
truffle orchard. It was first recovered there in 1986, and in 1987
recovered at a depth of nearly 8 inches, which at that time was one of
the deepest native truffles found. Chris Maser has since found a Tuber
species among the roots of an ancient Douglas fir which he estimated
was 2 meters below ground, before the tree was felled during a
windstorm. I call Tuber murinum Pallid truffle, because the gleba is
very pale, with abundant venae internae. The spores, even when mature,
appear hyaline, or nearly colorless. This is only one of the largest
truffles I have personally found, with one specimen found in extremely
loose soil under 20 years old Douglas fir, and between 8 and 12 inches
deep for larger specimens. I noted as I dug these, that the deeper I
went, the larger the truffles appeared to get. Nonetheless, I'm glad I
went no further than 12 inches here, as I was uncovering many tree

TUBER SP. NOV. is a species new to science, but has probably been
included with the many inoculations done at Beavercreek. Every year
since 1986, we have used specimens not sold or dried for
identification as inoculant. I believe this was included with the T.
giganteum inoculation of July, 1986, and according to my records found
in October, 1988 at or near the inoculation site. It seems to be
species specific with Douglas fir. An important key to identification
of this fungus are holes in a very wide venae externae leading into
the gleba. This are NOT insect holes, rather they appear to be natural
and very uniform in nature. I have yet to find a single hole outside
of the venae externae of this truffle.

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