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Question: 839-4312
We have a neighbor's ash that is 70 feet tall, which is loaded with a yellow fungus. The tree has threatened my roof. I got permission to saw the limb off. I think it is a shelf fungus, Lactarious sulfurous. What can my neighbor do to stop this? Dick, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
There is a shelf fungus, Laetiporus sulphureus, that cannot be killed once into a tree. Some other fungi can be arrested with Benlate. You can bet your neighbor's ash that is a goner and your neighbor should be told to cut the ash out. Removing the tree will alleviate danger to younger trees. Brown rot will ensue and get down to the roots. Before long the entire tree is a menace to the whole neighborhood. Lactarious is a generic term indicating the leaking of a milky substance.

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Question: 1334-4915
Would there be any benefit in putting the ash from my pellet stove into the garden? Michael, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
Back when I sold firewood at my nursery, hardwoods cost more than soft woods like pine and hemlock, Ash is excellent for a source of potassium and carbon. You can bet your ash your lawn will do better for a while. It can be used as a substitute for lime, It will sweeten the soil, Too high a concentration will cause the soil to become acidic. You will need to monitor the pH. If the pH drops to below 7.0, stop applying and start to use lime. It can also be applied to your flower and vegetable beds. Larger doses in broadleaf evergreen beds will begin lowering to 6.5 and below quickly, which the broad leaves love. You are fortunate to have a good source. Cash for ash has been more expensive in the past.

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