NZTA Tree Purchasing Guidelines
The New Zealand Truffle Association has developed the following guidelines to assist growers with the decision-making process when purchasing truffle infected trees.
First and foremost truffle production is NOT a guaranteed outcome when purchasing an inoculated seedling tree. There are many factors to the success or failure of truffle cultivation. Truffle growing must therefore be regarded as high risk. It can however offer high returns as currently demonstrated in New Zealand today.
To help the NZTA have created a guideline for buying trees. This should be read alongside the many other publications which are available on Site preparation, looking after your trees and minimising threats.
It is important that you are informed of the process & time frames for buying trees. Do your homework, obtain details and ask questions of nurseries. You don’t want to find out in ten years that the trees you planted were not inoculated. Below are some specific things to look for;
What should I want in a seedling?
- The infected seedling should be healthy
- With a stated infection level (tested to a known standard or method – ask for a copy from the nurseryman)
- Affordable (what you pay, is what you get – some quality aspects add cost)
- With a known DNA tested inoculum. You can test for the presence of good and bad infections, you will not get results for what you don’t test for.
What do I not want?
- Competing fungi on my plants, for example, competing fungi such as Tuber brumale, AD fungi and Thelephora; or known pathogens which might kill the fungus or tree. The testing method should give you confidence.
- Low infection levels (ask for a statement of levels – ask your mycologist for recommended minimum infection levels)
- Host specific tree (not the wrong host plant for the conditions)
What should I ask the Nursery person?
- How to care for my seedling
- Recommended planting tips
- Replacement for failed seedlings (will you replace any which die – yes, no %?)
- How should I care for my fungi (the tree is the host, the fungi is the parent)