Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Don't Use Mulch Made from Maple That Had Verticillium Wilt

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Don't Use Mulch Made from Maple That Had Verticillium Wilt

Article excerpt

Q * We had a maple tree that died from what was called root wilt. We had the tree taken down and have a nice pile of mulch. Is it safe to use this mulch around other trees or flowers?

A * The term "root wilt" does not tell me which wilt the tree died from. If by chance the wilt was verticillium wilt, then no, do not spread wood chips made from a tree that has been positively confirmed to have died from verticillium wilt. A proper diagnosis would have had to have been done by a pathology laboratory at the time the tree was declining in health. If all that now remains is wood chips and a lab test was not performed, then I would recommend you not take a chance if you don't know otherwise.

Maples are highly susceptible to verticillium wilt, but this fungus is also known to infect at least 300 other species of plants. Once infections occur, the fungus can remain active in the soil for 5 years or more, even after the plant has died. …

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