Stone Pine with Bianchetti White Truffle
The source of delicious pine nuts, this stately tree is a wonderful addition to your garden legacy and now comes inoculated with Bianchetti truffles, a strong aromatic truffle from southern Italy. This truffle fruits faster than the Black French varieties, fruiting in just 2–4 years in good soils.
Truffles are a delicacy, and are the fruiting body of a fungus that lives symbiotically with the roots of an inoculated tree such as a stone pine. The fungus (known as a mycorrhiza) is colonised onto the roots of the host tree. Truffles prefer a well-drained soil enriched with compost and decomposed manure. They require all the usual plant nutrients, but in relatively low amounts (especially phosphate). Soils must have a pH around 8 for truffles to grow. In most gardens, you will need to increase pH by adding lime (test your soil before making any ammendments). Climatically, truffles need warm to hot summers and cold winters. Choose a site with an open, sunny aspect (north or west facing is best). Usually it will take 4 or 5 years for truffles to be produced after planting. Truffles ripen from late June through to August and are formed under the soil. They need to be carefully unearthed, using all your powers of smell to detect their sweet, earthy fragrance before disturbing the soil.