Visit Our Location in Portland, OR
6469 SE 134th Ave
Portland, OR 97236
Unlike other mushrooms that grow in decomposing organic plant matter, Truffles grow entirely underground through mycorrhiza, a symbiotic relationship within the roots of Oak or Hazelnut trees. When a Truffle spore comes in contact with the root system of a tree, it produces mycelium which wraps around the tree’s rootlets where a connection is then formed. This mutually beneficial process allows both the developing Truffle and tree to exchange and share nutrients creating a supportive partnership.
There are several different varieties of Truffles, however one of the most popular and known is the French Perigord Black Truffle. This Truffle is considered to be the “Champagne of Truffles” for it’s superior earthy richness and chocolate flavor. The Truffle Trees that we currently carry are inoculated with French Perigord Black Truffle Spores. Since the Truffle spore is already present within the root system of the Oak tree, the mycorrhizal relationship will continue even after transplanting the tree and will eventually lead to the development of mature Truffles to be harvested and enjoyed. Once planted, the development of Truffles can range between 4-7 years.
Be sure to read our helpful tips below to help ensure successful Truffle harvests ahead!
1. Plant in loamy, well-draining, alkaline soil. Truffle trees prefer to be planted in alkaline rich soils with a pH around 7-8. Drainage is also essential since they do not like sitting in overly saturated soils. For poor soils it is recommend to amend the soil with Lime prior to planting to help increase pH. Amending the soil with fertilizers and lime after planting is not recommend and can negatively interfere with the natural michrozial relationship within the soil. It is also important to weed and remove any grass around the perimeter of the tree to help limit competition from the developing truffles. It is also recommend to add a layer of mulch around the tree to further suppress any weeds/grass from growing.
2. Plant two or more trees nearby to help support development.
Planting more than one truffle tree creates a larger underground mycorrhizal network to help increase the exchange of nutrients. The fungi will have a stronger support system where they can communicate within a wider range of resources they need to prosper and develop.
3. Keep trees regularly watered. Keeping soil moist is essential for creating an optimal environment for Truffle growth. Water is key to help the fungus stay alive and thriving. Be sure to water the root system of the trees often enough to ensure consistent moisture within the soil. This is also where knowing your soil comes into play because some soils may hold moisture for longer periods of time and overwatering can become an issue. Implementing a drip system is recommended to help keep a steady cycle of water flow.
4. Keep the four seasons in mind. Each seasonal phase helps support the life cycle of Truffles. Spring is when spore germination will take place and when the mycelium will spread and connect with the tree roots. The fungus will then continue its process of developing the initial structures of Truffle formation in summer. Metabolic activity then slows down with the onset of the colder months of fall as the truffle takes on its final shape. Winter is when the growth process is finalized and the fruiting body continues to mature until harvested typically between the months of November through March. Since mature Truffles do give off a specifically pleasing aroma, a trained animal companion is always the best at locating truffles for harvest.
5. Chose the right Oak tree variety for your location. Quercus ilex, the Holly Oak, as it is an excellent, long lived and gorgeous evergreen oak well adapted to the West Coast. Quercus ilex prefers dry summers. For growers in colder climates, USDA Zones 5 and above, we recommend planting Quercus robur, the English Oak. Also a very stately and long lived tree the English Oak is deciduous, very cold hardy and will support your truffle growing for many decades.