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    Climbers' CornerTree Academy

    The Microbiology of Mulch


    The application of mulch around the base of trees is a popular and beneficial practice.  Mulch retains moisture, improves soil quality, and can help prevent mechanical injury and soil compaction by preventing lawnmowers and vehicles from coming too close to the tree.  Wood and bark mulches are also excellent substrates for the growth of many bizarre microorganisms, most of which are benign but which are often alarming to the public.  This talk will focus on biology of these mulch-associated organisms, including slime molds; edible, inedible and poisonous mushrooms; stinkhorns; birds’ nest and artillery fungi; and other interesting members of the fungal kingdom.  Recommendations for proper mulching practices will also be made.  


    Dr. Jessie A. Glaeser is a Research Plant Pathologist with the U.S. Forest Service Center for Forest Mycology Research in Madison, WI.  She received her PhD from Virginia Tech, working with Dr. R. Jay Stipes on landscape tree diseases.  Her research interests include the identification, taxonomy and ecology of wood decay fungi.

    Climbers' CornerTree Academy

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