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How to kill verticillium in soil

Last year, I lost my filbert tree to verticillium wilt. It wasn't a huge loss, since the tree was old and not very productive. I miss the shade it gave, but I'm starting with a clean slate in the yard and I'm planting things that I want now.

My problem is that verticillium is so infectious that now I cannot have most of the plants that I want to have. It's been difficult for me to get answers to simple questions as well, so I'm turning here for advice. I need to know how far from the original diseased tree the verticillium might exist? I have a small yard, so I have to assume it's everywhere, but how do I know for sure? Mostly though, I want to know how to kill it. I can't continue to be hampered by restrictions on what to plant! Just today I was at my local garden store and they are selling some bareroot dwarf cherry trees that would be perfect. I've wanted cherry trees for so long! And it breaks my heart to think I can't have them.

I am mostly opposed to considering poisons, and it seems like they're not recommended anyway. Honestly though, I'd probably use poison if there was a hope that it would work and make it so I could plant whatever I want. But what other options do I have? I'm just a city dweller on a small lot, so I can't get a commercial soil steamer, and I don't have five years to cover my ground with black plastic. I have other things growing in the area anyway, so plastic would be difficult to apply.

Can I pour boiling water all over the ground? Would that work? What about vinegar? It's only a small corner of a small yard, so it's not totally impractical to imagine me filling the tea kettle 50 times and pouring boiling water all over the area.

And what about natural enemies? Everything in nature is eaten by something...what eats verticillium?

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Re: How to kill verticillium in soil

It is hard to kill in the soil. You would have to do repetitive tilling bringing up the soil to the light. The only other solution unfortunately is to plant disease resistant plants or plant above ground in pots.

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Re: How to kill verticillium in soil

Though I can't speak from experience using this to eradicate verticillium in the soil, I have used Actinovate as a very effective antifungal for other things, and I did remember this being mentioned on their labels. Here is a link for one of their products: ... eb4_14.pdf

Maybe there are filberts that are grafted onto resistant rootstock now?

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Super Green Thumb
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Re: How to kill verticillium in soil

You might think about planting verticillium resistant or immune trees or shrubs:

Apple/ crabapple, Hawthorn, Oak, white and burr,
Arbovitae, Hickory, Pear, Eucalyptus
Beech, Honeylocust, Pine
Birch, Hophornbeam, Hackberry, Poplar
Butternut, Juniper, Serviceberry
Dogwood, Larch, Spruce and conifers generally
Fir, Linden, Sycamore, Sweetgum
Gingko ,Mountain ash, Walnut
Hackberry, Mulberry, Willow

the cherry you talked about is one of the most susceptible, so not a good choice.

Otherwise it is difficult; the verticillium organism is very persistent in soil. The actinovate used as a soil drench is a good choice. Or soil drenching with AACT (brewed compost tea, see the long thread in the compost section), which would have to be done several times a season for a few years. You mentioned solarizing. I don't think this would have to be done for five years, but you would need to leave it on through one season. It works best in hot sunny areas.

Some combination of all of the above is probably what you need to do at this point. Do the soil drenches AND plant something resistant.

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Location: Portland, OR

Re: How to kill verticillium in soil

Ok. It's not what I want to hear but I truly appreciate the reality check. I'm about ready to give up on ever having cherry trees on this property but I have one more idea. What if I dig a large section of dirt out of that area, put down a layer of weed barrier or black plastic, fill the hole with good dirt, and put the cherries in there? I'm thinking about three or four feet deep and maybe three by six feet long and wide. Then build a raised bed on top of that with more clean dirt and put the cherry trees (dwarf or semi-dwarf, 8-10 feet at maturity) in there?

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