View Full Version : Fungus from mulch?

Tony Harrell
11-23-2002, 11:29 AM
I had a structural pest customer the other day that had black specks on her white painted brick wall. She said the ag service determined it was spores from mulch around her house and there was no known fungicide for this particular fungus. Anyone else had anything like this?

11-23-2002, 08:59 PM

It's not common, but it happens. Usually from hardwood mulches. While not labeled, I think Mancozeb would probably work. But so does a change in the weather.
I know of 2 jobs around here where the clients paid to have the mulch removed & replaced with cedar. I also know of 1 where, to save the expense, the client had cedar placed on top of the hardwood. The spores popped right through the cedar (spread very thin) & continued to speckle the windows, bushes, & siding for the rest of the summer.
As far as I know, there are no fungicides labeled for control. That's not to say some won't work. But it's not worth the manufacturers time or money to add something this rare to a label. No return on investment.
Pretty strange isn't it?

Tony Harrell
11-24-2002, 06:23 AM
Tremor, It is strange. I'm going to be on the lookout for those small specks. I initially thought it was lacebug droppings, but they were a little large for that. By the way, how did your inventory go? I assume all the service centers do it at the same time? Fun time huh!

11-24-2002, 08:18 AM
At times like this, life is good for the road salesperson. I have very little to count. Took about 15 minutes. I heard our region was done on time, which is a good sign.
I had to endure 12 inventories in 2 of the biggest Service Centers in the country before starting this position though. Never fun. I guess one might say my dues are paid. LOL.

I don't remember what that ugly black spored fungus was called. Did you get the name of it? Having seen it only 4-6 times in 25 years & the name doesn't exactly roll off the tounge.
I'd like to find or create a fact sheet on it.


11-24-2002, 10:37 AM
It is called shotgun or artillery fungus. Check out some of the pressure washing web sites, they have alot of good information about it.


11-24-2002, 10:46 AM
The State of Wisconsin has mandated removal of all wood mulch from around all state buildings for this exact reason. I didn't think "mulch":p about it at first then I started looking at recent installs. I found LOTS of mold in the hardwood variety of mulch during the summer. It was so bad in the bed next to our fire station that if you stepped on it a huge cloud of mold dust would raise.
I can see a new chemical coming out from Tremor in the future!!!

Tony Harrell
11-25-2002, 06:02 AM
I didn't get the info from the customer but, next time I go there I'll get it from her. I noticed about a hundred tiny mushrooms in the mulch around one of my maple trees. I didn't think much about it because I have a couple of fairy rings in my yard. I think I'm gonna switch to pine needles unless the mulch can be treated with a fungicide.

11-28-2002, 05:31 PM
This is called artillery fungus and does develop in the mulch and shoots tar like spores on to things. There is no labeled fungicide for it. The best way to prevent it is to cultivate the mulch regularly to keep the hard crust from developing and this prevents the development of the fruiting structures that shoot the spores. Ive been blamed enough for overspraying shrubbery that if I get a call from my customers, I give them a info handout from Penn State extention service.

11-28-2002, 10:58 PM
I sat in on a seminar last year at the PA turf conference about Artillery fungus. They said there was nothing to treat mulch with to prevent it but there was something that worked on removing it...If only I could remember what that was :rolleyes:

Tony Harrell
11-29-2002, 05:53 AM
That's it.