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Home Publications Tree Planters' Notes Tree Planters' Notes Volume 51, Number 1 (2005) Hot Air Cleaning of Styrofoam Containers in Forest Nurseries

Hot Air Cleaning of Styrofoam Containers in Forest Nurseries

Fungal pathogens tend to accumulate within styrofoam containers that are reused to produce successive crops of container-grown seedlings. Most nurseries treat reused containers by immersing them in hot water for varying time periods. The efficacy of radio frequency waves (RFWs) and hot, dry air (82.2°C for 10, 20, and 60 minutes) to reduce levels of selected groups of potentially pathogenic fungi within styrofoam containers was evaluated. RFWs and hot air were effective only on prewetted containers heated under high humidity. Fungi were readily killed on container surfaces when a thin film of water was present on containers prior to treatment. Dry containers were not adequately sanitized. Fusarium proliferatum was the most commonly encountered potentially pathogenic fungus isolated from containers. Eight other species of Fusarium and two species of Cylindrocarpon were also isolated from containers. Common fungal saprophytes on containers included Trichoderma and Penicillium spp. Although wet RFW treatment was as effective as hot water immersion, such treatments may be much more expensive due to the high equipment costs. Wetting containers and exposure to dry, hot air is an effective alternative to hot water immersion for styroblock sanitization.

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Author(s): Andy Trent

Publication: Tree Planters' Notes - Volume 51, Number 1 (2005)

Volume: 51

Number: 1