sources of mycorrhizal fungi?

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sources of mycorrhizal fungi?

Post  MikeG on Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:34 pm

Hi all.

I was wondering if anyone could share with me how they introduce mycorrhizal fungi to their soil? Is there any merit to the many products I see for sale on many sites? If so which product would you recommend? I hear leaf mold and pine needles can be an easy source but I'm afraid of pathogens.

Thanks in advance, Mike

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Re: sources of mycorrhizal fungi?

Post  JimLewis on Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:53 pm

If you are dealing with collected trees, you probably have all you need already on the roots.

Otherwise, they are quite species specific. There are products on the market that claim to have several species mixed in them. These I suppose, increase your chance of getting the right one.

There is, however, less need for inoculation in a well-cared-for and well fertilized bonsai. And, fertilizers with a relatively high P content tend to be anti-myc, anyway.

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Re: sources of mycorrhizal fungi?

Post  RKatzin on Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:22 pm

Hi Mike, I have in my hand a sample packet given to me at a store where I shop. It's called PHC Tree Saver, made by Plant Health Care Inc. I didn't use either packet so if you want to try it pm a po box and I'll send them up to you. They are 3oz (85 grams) each. Packet states it is mycorrhizal fungi with rhizosphere bacteria.
Rick

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Re: sources of mycorrhizal fungi?

Post  Leo Schordje on Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:21 pm

when innoculating with fungi, my opinion is the more species you offer in your innoculum, the better the chance you will have one be a good match.

the innoculant I currently use is from http://www.fungiperfecti.com
the specific product I use is the Myco-Grow Soluble, I add it to the water I water with about 4 times year. This is to innoculate new additions, and make sure that if my pesticides or fungicides upset established mycorhiza, new spore are available to help re-colonize plants where my chemicals screwed up the natural mycorhiza.
http://www.fungi.com/product-detail/product/mycogrow-soluble-1-oz.html
and its not that expensive.

Hokku Bonsai, Colin Lewis's company also offers an excellent innoculant, couldn't find the link. I have used his and was quite happy with it too.

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Re: sources of mycorrhizal fungi?

Post  MikeG on Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:36 pm

Thanks for the responses guys. Def cleared some stuff up for me. I wasn't sure about the species specific part.
I actually have a bag of dried pellets from Bonsaimonk I got back in my first year of bonsai, when I was buying anything that claimed to help with healthy growth. I've used it here and there but was never quite sure if they were any good.
Can the fungi actually survive in this form and become active again just by adding water? Kinda reminds me of the old sea monkey ads at the back of comic books when I was a kid.

Thanks, Mike

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Re: sources of mycorrhizal fungi?

Post  Leo Schordje on Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:52 am

MikeG wrote:Thanks for the responses guys. Def cleared some stuff up for me. I wasn't sure about the species specific part.
I actually have a bag of dried pellets from Bonsaimonk I got back in my first year of bonsai, when I was buying anything that claimed to help with healthy growth. I've used it here and there but was never quite sure if they were any good.
Can the fungi actually survive in this form and become active again just by adding water? Kinda reminds me of the old sea monkey ads at the back of comic books when I was a kid.

Thanks, Mike

All the products I have looked at or tried contain spores, and like seeds spores have a shelf life. I believe a couple years would be my guess. The cooler and dry they are stored, the longer they will last. Humid warm air will shorten the shelf life. Even old out of date products will have a few spores germinate, so using old product probably causes no harm, and may actually still work.

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Re: sources of mycorrhizal fungi?

Post  Guest on Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:11 pm

http://rootgrow.co.uk/grow-your-own.html

i've used the first one you see at the bottom of the page, the 75gr little bag.

can't "scientifically analyze" that my trees grew better or felt better (i cant ask em can I?), but i sure did notice a lot of mushrooms in more pots than before this autumn Wink. The thing that lets me "think" my trees benefited from it, is that my birches and my oak didnt suffer as much from deseases (like mildew) than previous year; so i guess it was helpfull to their 'immune system'. Also my common hazels didnt suffer that much from a certain leafspot disease (i failed to recognize what type). Also its the first year my ulmus procera held its leaves longer than other years, and the colour of the leaves was better somehow.
i didnt alter anything really to my watering and feeding scheme, only with some trees i used a bit of dried chicken/cow manure granulate in the soil, but no more than 5 to 10% and thats really not a 'real fertilizer' anyway, maybe it helped to keep the myccorhizae alive, or get the soil colonized more rapidly, but my guess is that this really doesnt matter, i got mushrooms and better disease-withstand from other trees without chicken/cow manure in the soil too.

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Re: sources of mycorrhizal fungi?

Post  C.A. Young on Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:11 pm

Try googling "sub culture M". Many different strains, both endo and ecto mycorrhizae. The only thing to keep in mind is that chlorine is fatal to all kinds of mycorrhizal fungi. You must not use chlorinated water! And yes, I keep all my mycorrhizal products in the fridge (in air-tight bags of course).

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Re: sources of mycorrhizal fungi?

Post  rockm on Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:13 pm

I've found the most reliable way of getting it into your soil is .... just to wait for it to arrive. I've found over the yearws that naturally-occurring fungi will colonize all by themselves. It can take a while, but it happens eventually. I stopped adding prepared myc fungus that was commercially as it was as expensive as it was hit and miss.

The stuff that arrives by itself is not only free, but species appropriate.

The best of all worlds is if you have a tree (or a friend has a tree) that is the same species you're trying to get colonized. Simply take a spoonful of the soil in the other tree and mix it in with the soil to be colonized...

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Re: sources of mycorrhizal fungi?

Post  JimLewis on Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:32 pm

I've found the most reliable way of getting it into your soil is .... just to wait for it to arrive.

Yup, yup, yup!

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: sources of mycorrhizal fungi?

Post  Guest on Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:59 pm

rockm wrote:I've found the most reliable way of getting it into your soil is .... just to wait for it to arrive. I've found over the yearws that naturally-occurring fungi will colonize all by themselves. It can take a while, but it happens eventually. I stopped adding prepared myc fungus that was commercially as it was as expensive as it was hit and miss.

The stuff that arrives by itself is not only free, but species appropriate.

The best of all worlds is if you have a tree (or a friend has a tree) that is the same species you're trying to get colonized. Simply take a spoonful of the soil in the other tree and mix it in with the soil to be colonized...

all true, but while you are waiting... ;-)
introducing it before it arrives, especially with mostly inorganic soils, can be beneficial and give a tree a good head starts, more relevant if we're talking about material where there were few roots, or where the rootball has been washed out of old soil. With my oak in almost 100% inorganics i just introduced it.
Waiting for it to happen is good, sometimes introducing it in certain situations is a good thing too.

the reason why i would introduce it is mostly for better withstanding diseases. I am not so sure it helps the tree to absorb the nutrients more, because we heavily feed our soils with chemical or organic fertilisers and i'm not so sure that doesnt disturb this symbiosis in any way. I suspect that influences it somehow, a heavy feeding regime is certainly not a situation you get in soils in natural environment.. does anyone have any scientific experiences or proof for that?

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Re: sources of mycorrhizal fungi?

Post  Guest on Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:16 pm

well here's an interesting read, i'm still at the first page (a belgian reading scientific english takes a lot of concentration ;-) but is allready gives some nice info about the need of having mycorrhizae...gonna read some more now

http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs_other/wo_ah680/wo_ah680_020_023.pdf

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Re: sources of mycorrhizal fungi?

Post  Leo Schordje on Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:41 pm

great link to article Yves, Thanks,

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Re: sources of mycorrhizal fungi?

Post  MikeG on Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:32 am

Thanks so much for all the great info everyone.
Seems like maybe there's a bit of debate of the need to introduce it or even if there's much of need at all with inorganic soil and a heavy feeding regime. One thing that's clear is that the relationship between tree and fungi are very beneficial. I'll be comparing different products and applying some to my trees. Most of my tropicals are from a Korean run nursery who still use a soil heavy in peat and a soft akadama. So I've replaced all that with my own. If fungi was present, it probably isn't now. My other trees, I always incorporate some of the old soil into the new when repotting, esp. the pines. This should help to keep any fungi present going. As for the need to inoculate, as long as it's cheap and there's no harm in it, I'm going to err on the side of caution and do it.

Thanks again, Mike

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