How long do the trees grow before they produce truffles?
It takes anywhere between 3-8 years after planting before an infected tree will produce truffles. Factors which come into play to explain this variation in time to first harvest are complex, but they may include site suitability, tree management, tree quality and species and a little good fortune!
Are they easy to find?
A well trained and hard working dog has no problems finding truffles. The catch is in having a trained dog in the first place. During the harvest season any individual tree should be searched every 7-10 days, so there is a necessary and significant time commitment required throughout the truffle season. It is worth considering hiring professional truffle hunters, with trained and expert dogs.
How will I sell my truffles?
Presently there is a ready market within New Zealand for truffles, mainly through various restaurants throughout the country. As volumes increase more, more truffles will need to be exported. Southern Cross Truffles have already developed relationships with several distributors in USA, Hong Kong and Europe who will take any truffles available.
How much will my truffles be worth?
Presently, the limited amounts of both borchii and melanosporum produced in New Zealand are selling in excess of $3000/kg. Worldwide, the markets for truffles all feature strong demand and limited supply, which means prices are likely to be strong for the foreseeable future.
What is a truffle?
In very simple terms, a truffle is the edible fruit of a fungi which grows in association with tree roots.
What trees do they grow on?
Different truffle types grow on different tree species. Tuber melanosporum will grow in association with any oak species and hazels. Tuber Borchii can grow on a large variety of tree species, including various pines and oaks.
How do you find them?
They are located by their smell. When they ripen they emit a very powerful, fragrant, aroma which comes up through the soil.
How deep do they grow?
They can be found at any depth from breaking the surface to any where as deep as 30cm (however they start getting hard to find this deep).