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In Mycelium Running, Paul Stamets talks about inoculating seedlings with mycorrhizal funguses. He shows a side by side of young Maple saplings, one with and one with out showing the immense difference in health and growth between the two. I'm getting ready to plant some apple trees of various hybrid varieties and I would like to inoculate them before planting.

Do different cultivars and varieties do better with different innoculants? Are there some innoculants that do well with all Apple trees? Which ones?

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    Might wanna flesh this out a bit... For starters, how is this not just a gardening question? Beyond that, what variety of apple are you considering, what rootstock, what location are you planting in...? – Shog9 Jan 31 '13 at 0:36
  • @Shog9 Permaculture regularly deals with inoculating plants with symbiotic fungus. Conventional gardeners often aren't even aware of the possibility, in my experience. As for the rest, you're right, it needs more fleshing out. I was more trying out a class of question. – Daniel Bingham Jan 31 '13 at 16:43
  • There are going to be a ton of Permaculture questions here that, on first glance, could belong on gardening. But there aren't all that many Permaculturists on Gardening judging by how empty that tag is. They are more likely to get the answers they are looking for here. It's kind of like DBA.se vs ServerFault.SE or AskUbuntu vs UnixLinux. It's a question of where they are going to get a more detailed and specific answer of the sort they are looking for. – Daniel Bingham Jan 31 '13 at 16:46
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    "conventional gardeners" covers a pretty vast range of practices and experiences. I would be rather careful of lumping anything moderately novel in with "sustainability"; disease resistant cultivars are also somewhat less well-known, but their use is hardly limited to sustainable agriculture. – Shog9 Jan 31 '13 at 16:49
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    This is definitely NOT a gardening question! – OCDtech Feb 21 '13 at 19:43
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The one(s) that survive/thrive in your orchard. I don't know the specific answer to this and I don't know that anyone does. The reason being that "apple tree" and mycorrhizae are not the only variables in this equation.

For example, What variety of apple tree? Are the trees healthy? How old are they? Is the orchard neglected or intensively maintained? Is it an orchard or a single tree? What other species/organisms are nearby? Are the trees tightly spaced or well spaced? What is the weather like Hi temps? Lo temps? How deep is the freeze? How long does the freeze last? What other organisms including fungi live in the soil already? What does the soil consist of? How's the drainage? How much rain does the site get?

This is just the tip of the iceberg and only an example of the factors that may play a role in which fungi establish a symbiotic relationship with the trees. So when you buy mycorrhizae, to my knowledge, you get a great variety. You introduce them all and the best ones are the varieties that thrive survive multiply and get the job done.

This probably isn't the answer you were looking for and if not I apologize.

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What a great question. It really got me interested in this. I have a biology background and even now as a forester, apples are still among my absolute favorite trees.

I did a little bit of digging and found what may be some good information for you.

This one cites Pitholithus tinctorious.

And this is from the Journal of American Society of horticultural sciences and the authors being some of our Quebec neighbors.

This and the previous link both refer to Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae. This is a master's these UBC. Note you can download the PDF.

A third study from our friends in NZ.

A fourth study from the venerable OSU and was a test of 6 specific fungal species.

And here is a casual conversation over at holistic Orchard Network and talks about utilizing your local mycorrhizae, this might be your winner. Shout-out to Vermont!

Lastly, and you may be aware of this, the USDA's Agricola database/catalog of ag literature is always a great resource and I wouldn't be shy about contacting someone at Cornell's field research station in Geneva, NY!

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