Hot Water and Copper Coatings in Reused Containers Decrease Inoculum of Fusarium and Cylindrocarpon and Increase Douglas Fir Seedling Growth

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  • 1 United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station, 1221 S. Main Street, Moscow, ID 83843
  • | 2 U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Forest Health Protection, Coeur d'Alene, ID
  • | 3 Forest Research Nursery, Department of Forest Resources, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID

Inoculum of Douglas fir root diseases caused by the fungi Fusarium and Cylindrocarpon is carried from crop to crop in reused containers. Soaking containers for 90 seconds in 80 °C water removed ≈99% of Fusarium and 100% of Cylindrocarpon inoculum between growing cycles. Overall seedling growth was also improved: seedlings grown in containers soaked between growing cycles were 10% taller and had 20% more biomass than seedlings grown in nonsoaked containers. We obtained a 13% increase in the number of deliverable seedlings from containers soaked in hot water between crops, from the use of copper coated containers, or from both practices combined.

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