Truffle Establishment in British Columbia

Truffle Establishment in British Columbia

Project Leads

Truffle Association of BC

Shannon Berch, Research Scientist, Government of British Columbia; Adjunct Professor, Department of Botany, University of British Columbia; Adjunct Professor, Centre for Livelihoods and Ecology at Royal Roads University (PI)

Daniel Durall, Associate Professor, University of British Columbia Faculty of Science Okanagan campus

Funding

Truffle Association of British Columbia, with support from UBC Okanagan Campus and LARE Innovations

 

About the Project

The Truffle Association of BC (TABC), in collaboration with University of British Columbia (UBC), established and is operating a demonstration and research truffle orchard (truffière) for farming Mediterranean black winter truffles in BC. The project, led by Ministry of Environment research scientist (retired) Shannon Berch, PhD, focuses on realistic horticultural methods to cultivate Périgord black truffles (Tuber melanosporum) with English oak trees (Quercus robur) in a mutualistic symbiosis

The current truffière of thirty-five trees was started in April 2013 when two-year-old English oak tree seedlings inoculated with Tuber melanosporum were planted at the UBC Farm in Vancouver. The truffière, measuring 37 meters by 20 meters (121′ x 64′), generates best management practices information and other scientific data for use in establishing a commercial truffle industry in BC.

Most recently, started in 2021, TABC began collaborating with UBC Okanagan’s Dr. Dan Durall (PI) and Becky Loverock (MSc student) to evaluate truffière irrigation strategies. The research objective is to determine if or how soil-water availability may impact Périgord black truffle production. The results of this study will inform the Best Management Practices to cultivate Mediterranean black winter truffles in BC.

Initial partial funding for the TABC truffière at the UCB Farm came from the BC Investment Agriculture Foundation (BC IAF). All subsequent ongoing operational, research, and development funding has thus far come from TABC members, fund raising, and donations. Conducting this research at the UBC Farm helps alleviate some risks and costs. Nevertheless, additional public and private funding is needed and very much appreciated to continue and expand efforts so future producers have resources and experience to draw on to establish a successful BC truffle industry.

For online giving to the UBC Farm Truffière project: Donate

Primary Contact: Douglas Campbell

External Links and Publications

BC Truffle Industry-Next Frontier is Underground

UBC Growing World’s Most Desired Truffles

In Dogged Pursuit of Truffles

BC Truffles presentation by Dr. Shannon Berch

Best Practices for Cultivation of Truffles llibre, Carlos Colinas 2017

Soil DNA analysis for truffle species identification in cultivation, Berch 2017

Instrumental monitoring of truffles, Pacioni 2014