Black truffle trees

History

    TUBER MELANOSPORUM – BLACK TRUFFLE, with highly flavored gourmet, called “the diamond of the kitchen” by Brillat Savarin in his gastronomic book entitled – Philosophy del gusto. Truffle (Tuber derived from Latin) dates from ancient times being mentioned for the first time on clay tablets of the Sumerians and Amorites, already talking to the Ur III dynasty more than 2,000 years idHr. In Greece appears sec.IV- BC which celebrated cookery courses, as indicated Teofrasto in sec . III BC.

In Europe, is first written about truffles in sec . XVI by Ludovico of Vartema, speaking about as the most profitable trade in Armenia and Turkey. In sec. XIII and early XIX, Europe knows in exclusivity the use of truffles, being considered a real delicacy for the flavour and its medicinal and aphrodisiac qualities.

 

 

 

About truffles

The truffle is a fungus that forms on the root of the tree. In reality it is not cultivated, it arises because of a symbiosis between fungus and the plant roots , the process being called MYCORRHIZAE,  word of Greek origin (symbiosis). Mycorrhizal plant receives  from this fungus, principal mineral nutrients and maintains the necessary water for the plant. The fungus (having the form of a tuber hanging from the plant root) obtains from the plant carbohydrates and vitamins. The truffle is wrapped in a bark adorned with small warts or scales which, besides protective role, contributes to breathing and feeding the tubercle.

On the world market are known two kinds of truffles: Black Truffle (easily accessible approx. 1000 €/kg) and White Truffle (which appears isolated, and the price reaches approx.  5000€/kg). The truffle also occurs naturally in some mountainous areas, but in small quantity and is very hard to find.

 

 

 

 

 

Cultivation

For about 30 years, in Spain, were founded plantations of black truffle trees. To get the cultivated truffle we need trees that accept mycorrhiza on their roots.

The most indicated trees are: ILEX (quercus ilex sp.ballota) with the best yeld of approx. 80%, HAZELNUT (corylus avellana) in 75% yeld, OAK (quercus robur) in 75% yeld.

This three shafts are recommended for MYCORRHIZAL and plants at a distance of 5 m, so 400 trees/ha. A row of Ilex, another of Hazelnut and another of Oak. Hazelnut being planted in the middle row, maintains moisture for the other two rows.  On costumer request can be planted only one kind of the three.

We recommend plants with 80% mycorrhiza, produced in the laboratory and special greenhouses. The production of a plant takes six months, after this period can be planted in safety.

Planting

Plantations can be made on agricultural lands with special characteristics of the soil. The pH should be between 7 and 8,5, and the soil must have a high content of phosphorus and organic matter.

Land preparation is done by plowing 40 cm deep, disking and fertilizing. The best fertilizer is the natural one (fermented sheep manure, 10 t/ha) before planting and the first two years after planting. After this, fertilization is not recommended.

Planting of the seedlings is made after 15 September to 15 November, and the spring in March and April, considering that in this period the soil has enough moisture. The seedling is resistant both at cold  (-25° C)  and high temperature (+45° C).

The plant is delivered in a cellophane bag, has a height of 20-30 cm, with 80% mycorrhizal root. The remove of the plant from the cellophane bag is made carefully, grasping with left hand the stem of the plant at the base, and with right hand grasping the bottom of the bag and pull carefully to not damage the roots coming out through the protective cloth.

For planting, the pit should be prepared with the depth of 25-30 cm and width of 40×40 cm.  It is intended that the level of peat from the bag, where the root is, to enter 4 cm below the level of  natural soil layer, to ensure good protection of the plant root. Before planting, the pit is well watered with approx. 3 liters of water, place the plant and manually put soil around the plant and press gently with the hand till the normal level of  ground surface.

Our company offers assistance both on planting the trees and plantation maintenance.

 

 

Maintenance

After planting is recommended the plastic protector (plastic cylinder) against rabbits and goats. Due to the plantation value, it is recommended fencing using small mesh wire fence, with a height big enough to provide protection against animals.  

In the first four years after planting, a plowing of 10 cm depth can be done between rows, to prevent the growth of grass.  The use of herbicide is strictly forbidden (the herbicide can destroy mycorrhiza, it doesn’t die but do not produces truffles anymore).

Black truffle tree needs water, approx 2 liter/day during the drought, in the first three years of life. In the fourth year we need micro-sprinkler irrigation, this helping truffles to form and develop into the soil. The tree starts the production in the fourth or fifth year of life, depending on the care and attention given to plantation.  

The first signs that our tree started to produce truffles is the cessation of  growth of grass around the tree (we have the impression that on the grass was applied herbicide).

 

 

 

Truffle production

In the 4th year we can collect approx. 400-500 gr truffles/tree, and after the 5th year over 1 kg/tree.

The truffle is formed with the root of the tree to a depth of 10-30 cm, and to locate the bulb we need trained dogs or pigs for that. We can offer for sale or rent during the operation, trained animals.

Delivery conditions for black truffle trees

Loco warehouse provider, based on order.

Delivery time is communicated when ordering. 

 PRICE: 16 EUR (VTA included)/tree