Can partially decomposed wood chips from an elm that died of Dutch Elm disease be used as mulch?

January 12, 2012 Print Friendly and PDF

If the wood drying and chipping process is done properly, the beetles responsible for transmitting the fungal organism {Ophiostoma ulmi (syn. Ceratocystis ulmi)} can hardly survive. The main concern is that the wood be dried properly prior to processing. Beetles are necessary for transmission (in most cases) and the fungus doesn't survive in the dry state or in the soil where the mulch is to be applied. It is suitable to use hardwood mulch that has been cured and processed properly during the chipping method as a mulch for use in the landscape.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.