For those interested in cultivating truffles, it is important to have an extension agent that you can talk to that understands the unique factors and management important in the truffle cultivation successes in your region. Yet, truffles are a specialty crop that few extension agents are aware of, which makes it hard for agents to provide management recommendations.

Remember that truffles are fungi, not plants, and they still poorly understood with few accepted management targets. While healthy trees are important for truffle production, one can grow healthy trees without growing truffles.

To produce truffles, it most imperative that truffle fungi have mycorrhized host tree roots and colonized the soil. In this case, water, temperature, and soil factors will play a role in truffle production and development.

This is our advice for those interested in cultivating truffles successfully:

  • Join the North American Truffle Growers Association (https://trufflegrowers.com/) and talk to other truffle farmers about their successes and failures.
  • Plan your orchard and prepare soils one year prior to planting. Because truffles prefer to fruit in slightly alkaline soils, this may involve heavy liming if your soils are naturally acidic.
  • Purchase well-colonized seedlings from a reputable source, and check the roots yourself to ascertain their quality.
  • Choose plant hosts suitable to your region that are disease-resistent, and truffle species suited to your region.
  • Reach out to an extension agent to seek information on questions you may have. You can link your agent with others listed here to help share information and experiences.

Extension Specialists with experience in Trufficulture:

Inga Meadows (NC) – https://cals.ncsu.edu/entomology-and-plant-pathology/people/immeadow/

Scott Oneto  (CA) (website – https://ucanr.edu/?facultyid=1719)

Jeanine Davis (NC) (website – https://cals.ncsu.edu/horticultural-science/people/jmdavis2/)