In an innovative trial beginning this spring, Trees for Life will harness the power of local mushrooms to boost reforestation at its Dundreggan Conservation Estate in Glenmoriston near Loch Ness.
The conservation charity’s experts and volunteers are to introduce a special mix of spores collected from mushrooms on the Highland estate when planting native trees on the hills and when growing seedlings in Dundreggan’s tree nursery during this spring.
A pinch of the black granules containing the spores will be added to the planting holes of 20,000 trees in one section of the estate, and will also be applied to a selection of seedlings.
The results of this trial will be monitored to see if treating selected trees and seedlings in this way improves their growth and decreases the need for fertiliser application. It is hoped the trees will have greater resistance to drought and heat, and protection against pests.