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Pre-planting interventions

Pre-planting interventions

Both shrubs and trees must be removed to facilitate the work, to give more space for the plantation, but above all because some species could be mycorrhized with fungi already present in the soil and therefore be a source of inoculation of competitor fungi. Before touching the shrubs and/or trees, it is good practice to check with your Mountain Community or the State Forestry Department on the legislation in force.

Large boulders should be removed, provided this is cost effective. In some plantations, the stones have been ground on-site and scattered across the land to exploit their mulching effect. However, we do not advise this operation, as it is too expensive.

Soil preparation depends on the type of soil and the previous crops. The ploughing depth should generally not exceed 20-30 cm, as greater depths could bring sterile or too clayey layers to the surface and the balance of the microbic flora in the soil would be altered. In general, for land of average depth we advise a cross ripper to encourage air and water circulation without turning over the soil, followed by surface ploughing and subsequent pulverising of the clods of earth. It would be a good idea to carry out the work in summer, so that any probable propagules of competing fungi naturally present in the soil are exposed as far as possible and inactivated by the high summer temperatures and lack of water.

The plantation layout must be decided according to the symbiotic tree species, the probable development the adult plant may have, the truffle species and the exposure of the land. In practice, you need to envisage shade from the adult tree since: the black truffle does not tolerate more than 60% shade, the summer truffle will tolerate greater shading and the white truffle prefers to be 100% in the shade. It is good practice to adopt a wide, rather than a narrow layout.

The most suitable planting period is in the autumn – winter, provided the temperature is not too low, the land has not been covered in snow for long periods, etc. or in spring, after checking the frost will not return. A few days before planting, suspend irrigation of the potted seedlings, so the root ball is dry and can be extracted easily.

Supplemental irrigation must be provided for the young seedlings to help them take root. A well-mycorrhized plant is more drought-resistant. However, rooting is a very delicate stage and prolonged water stress can compromise not only the plant, but also the mycorrhizas.