Question: Conifers and seasonal chloroses??

truffler1635 at truffler1635 at
Sat Nov 13 17:01:17 EST 1999

In article <WFfX3.5220$7m.291377 at>,
  "Mike the Tree Doctor" <mlamana at> wrote:
> Daniel:
> Thanks for your response. The whole issue of appropriate soil
> fauna/symbiotic associations is quite up in the air with these trees. We
> purchased them from native settings when they were already quite large and
> with native soil balls intact - thus I operate under the assumption that the
> correct fungal/ actinomycete/ bacterial inoculant was present.
> However, at times past these tree were inoculated with P.t. spores and a
> brew of Endomycorrhizal species spores. What is your opinion of competitive
> displacement of native symbiotic flora with the addition of the exogenous
> ones???
Since it has not been done except recently, I have little data.

However, since a single half-centimeter of rootlet may host as many as 7
species of mycorrhizae, I'd say the more, the merrier. There is likely a
lot of specific benefit from individual ectomycorrhizae. One may be
specific to phosphorus leaching from basal rock, another may be better
at nitrogen-fixing bacteria association; still another may be best at
water gathering for hard-packed soils. P.t. is especially good at the
latter, especially where there is a distinct lack of other
ectomycorrhizal fungi. I typically find it in nearly concrete-like soils
with little grass, forbes or other soil cover.

During the time of the Pilgrims, New England had wonderful near-virgin
forests that included a lot of white pine. These were the first things
cut for sailing ship masts, since the trees were stout and exceptionally

Without access to a powerful microscope and older, healthy trees of the
same species (preferably a little older than the ones you have) it is
difficult to compare different aged trees associated with different
ectomycorrhizae: there are too many variables involved. Often nearby
trees will affect the suitability of one ectomycorrhizal fungi over

A lot of my research has been carried out in rather specific stands of
trees: Douglas fir plantations, which were at one time densely-planted
stands of Christmas trees (about 800-1000 trees/acre). The data I've
accumulated from this observation/collection/preservation patterns is
not much. But at least it is a beginning.

I would not add P.t. to Douglas fir except in an act of desperation.
Thelophora terrestris is easy to inoculate, but is pretty specific to
sandy or alluvial soils. In extremely wet areas I'd probably try
introducing some of the Cortinarius species, along with lots of Russula
and Lactarii. But there is little reliable data on whether these fungi
can be cultivated.

OTOH, if it keeps the trees alive, it isn't all that bad. ;)

Daniel B. Wheeler
> Thanks for all your input!
> Mike the Tree Doctor

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