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Fungi and Fruit Trees

August 12, 2014

I took a farming class last year – all year. We grew and tended our own crops, visited farms and orchards…wonderful. I have two acres of old walnut trees and hoped to learn how to either tend them or replace them.  Around my house I have planted 30+ fruit trees where there was an unkempt lawn previously. These fruit trees are … ahem…not growing as fast as I would like, let’s just put it that way. Apricots, pluots, cherries, plums, apples, stone pines, pomegranates. I would like to see them thrive, not just survive. 

The other day I heard about the beneficial relationship between fungus and tree roots. I knew this already from my science teaching but perked up my ears when I heard the speaker on PRI’s “The World” broadcast. About a scientist Sanders, the announcer said:

In particular, Sanders is obsessed with a type of fungi that live on the roots of about 80 percent of the plants on the planet. Their tiny filaments help plants grow by drawing water and nutrients to the plant. In return, the plants feed sugars to the fungi.

It’s a symbiotic relationship that Sanders says is incredibly important.

“Almost all our food plants naturally form this association with these fungi,” he says

So I have ordered fungi through the mail and will apply it to my trees. Keep posted.

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