Mulching with infected wood

I just had a dying tree chopped down, and made sure to have them leave the wood chips behind in a big pile.

However, I have the following concern. The arborist who we had take a look at the tree (a sycamore maple) said that it had, among its other problems, a root fungus. He said it shouldn’t be a problem for healthy plants or whatever I replace it with, but I want a second opinion.

Should I avoid using this mulch on my infant orchard? Or should it be safe enough, given that most mulch is probably made of dying trees anyway?

(Worst case scenario, I use it on the ornamentals, and if something happens to then, they get replaced with edibles. Wife can’t argue with that.)

I think as long as you don’t mix the chips INTO the soil you should be fine, I heard Linda Chalker-Scott talk about this very topic a few weeks ago. she was of the mind not to let it go to waste. She did however recommend to let it sit for 6-12 months to cure.

Well, the pile is currently blocking my driveway, so curing for 6-12 months is not going to happen. My current timeline involves mulching this weekend.

Good arborist! Not a problem:

I compost all plant matter from my lot, diseased or not. Pathogens that aren’t killed in the hot pile outright will die over time or are ubiquitous organisms anyway.

Let’s be honest, I’m going to spread this mulch somewhere soon, and thankfully it sounds safe enough, but there must be some cases where it’s not. Isn’t the usual advice with fireblight to burn any infected wood?

There are certain fungal infections that can be spread in chips (think Dutch elm disease) but they are rare and I never give them a thought. Any dying tree will have fungus invading the roots- hell any healthy tree lives with a certain amount of pathogenic fungus throughout their lives.

Where spreading certain fungus is a problem it tends to be well known by one’s cooperative extension and probably by any competent arborist.

I have used fresh chips from unknown sources (but local) since Linda Chalker-Scott was in elementary school. Only ever been a problem on tender young vegetables. You might want to age them for that.

She’s quite the advocate for arborist chips and does an excellent job of covering the bases.

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she does love her wood chips, great radio personality, I’m sure she’s a hoot in person too.