Mycorrhizal Applications was founded twenty-five years ago in an effort to solve a problem foresters had faced for decades: How do you improve transplant success of conifer seedlings when replanting a forest that had been clear-cut or ravaged by wildfire?
The history: By the early 1990s, U.S. Forest Service Researcher Dr. Mike Amaranthus had conducted many years of field trials and research demonstrating the value of mycorrhizal inoculation of forestry seedlings and the resulting increase in transplant survival. However, when Dr. Amaranthus began recommending the use of mycorrhizae to forestry nurseries, it became apparent that mycorrhizal inoculum were not readily available commercially. To meet that demand, Dr. Amaranthus left his position with the USFS and founded Mycorrhizal Applications in Southern Oregon in 1995. Mycorrhizal Applications has since branched out well beyond forestry, and developed the MycoApply® brand of professional mycorrhizal inoculants in order to promote sustainability and expand the commercial access to mycorrhizae in all industries involving soils, plants, and people.
How it works: The benefits of mycorrhizae can be explained quite simply: “The better the roots, the better the plant.” Mycorrhizal fungi live in symbiosis with plants, directly providing the root system with what the plant needs (water and nutrients), while the plant provides what the mycorrhizal fungi need (excess sugars from photosynthesis). The mycorrhizae establish this relationship when a growing plant’s roots come into contact with a mycorrhizal propagule (the “seed” of the fungi). Once established, mycorrhizae expand the root mass by sending out ultra-fine mycelium filaments (hyphae) into the soil which act as a living extension of the plant’s roots, and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of nutrient and water utilization by the plant.
How nurseries can benefit: Approximately 95% of all plants on earth are mycorrhizal and rely on this symbiosis to thrive. Plants and mycorrhizae have developed this mutually beneficial relationship over the past 450+ millions years as a mechanism for increased survival. If you go out into nature on a hike in any undisturbed area like a forest or a meadow, the plants all around you are relying on this symbiotic relationship to survive in the absence of inputs. However, in horticulture, the mycorrhizal propagules that kick off this relationship are generally absent from soil or artificial growing media, and must be introduced through inoculation. Mycorrhizal Applications’ MycoApply® mycorrhizal inoculant products can be easily added to a professional grower’s production protocol by several means: horticulture injection systems, soil/media incorporation, drench, or plug/liner/bare root dip, or by any means a grower can position the inoculum in direct contact with growing or emerging roots.
Why MycoApply®? As the leader in the field of commercial mycorrhizal inoculant products, the team at Mycorrhizal Applications collectively has decades of experience helping professional growers adopt this crucial biological technology. Growers can work with Mycorrhizal Applications to determine the best blend of mycorrhizal species to utilize for the particular crops that they grow, discuss which inoculation methods to consider, and plan for the ideal timing in the production process for inoculation in order to ensure the lowest cost and maximum return on investment.