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Name: Kathie B.
Status: educator
Age: 50s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 4/21/2003

Our magnolia tree has small droopy leaves with yellow coloring and just looks sick. I removed the mulch around the trunk to find that a white dusty mold had attached itself to the trunk. Can it be saved? It only about 3 years old. I would like to incorporate rescuing it in a curriculum.

The mold might actually be from the mulch. The following might be helpful re. magnolia disease, nutrition problems, etc.

Anthony Brach, Ph.D

Contact your local U.S. Department of Agriculture extension service. They may be able to identify the mold and be able to offer a recommendation on how to get rid of it. Just removing the mulch may make the environment sufficiently dry that the mold cannot survive. In the absence of any info from the extension service you could try spraying the affected areas with 3% hydrogen peroxide, or even household bleach diluted 1/1 with water. Both agents are very effective at killing mold and would not likely harm the tree if used conservatively.

Vince Calder

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