Is it possible to multi crop chestnuts and truffles?


Tuber and castanea farming

We already wrote in this blog a few years ago abut how we were hunting truffles on chestnuts trees, even on slightly acidic slate soil.

I was reviewing now a paper published almost a year ago about this topic:

Multi-cropping edible truffles and sweet chestnuts: production of high-quality Castanea sativa seedlings inoculated with Tuber aestivum, its ecotype T. uncinatum, T. brumale, and T. macrosporum

I´ve found particulary Tuber melanosporum, brumale and aestivum under chestnut in Catalonia.

C. sativa is the only native species of the genus in Europe with wide distribution throughout Southern Europe, showing its ability to adapt to a variety of environmental conditions. It is managed for timber as well as for fruit production. But its distribution has been reduced specially for disease issues.

In this study the authors produced well infected trees with aestivum, uncinatum ecotype, brumale and macrosporum, the last one reaching lower mycorrhization rates.

Chestnuts normally avoid limy soils, but in this study, despite the high concentration of calcium in the substrate, most of the inoculated plants did not show evident symptoms of nutritional deficiencies as reflected by photosystem activity. Moreover, brumale inoculation improved tree performance.

 

Besides the potential to grow chestnuts with truffles, the multi crop (same with hazel nuts) is something quite complicated due to the fertilization required and mainly harvesting the nuts, in the fall when most of these truffles are already formed in the soil, the soil is normally quite wet, so won´t tolerate compaction with heavy machinery, nor even people moving around. But worth exploring anyway!

Have a nice end of summer (and nice end of truffle season in the southern hemisphere 😉

Marcos S. Morcillo

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About trufflefarming

CEO of Micofora. Truffles and edible wild mushroom science and farming. Researcher, truffle farmer & mycologist
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