Using Manure Around Trees

Manure has been used for plant growth for centuries.  Manure is a valuable tool for gardeners because it has nutrients that are added to the soil to aid in the growth of plants and trees.  But because of what manure is, it does come with health risks.  Some news articles have even talked about the possible dangers of using manure for plants and trees in gardens and around the home.  So, is it not worth the risk of the health benefits to add manure to the soil?  When in doubt, you can always contact a reliable Austin tree services company.  But in the meantime, here are some important things to keep in mind.

Is E. Coli a Risk When Using Manure?

The concern for many is that E. Coli, or Escherichia coli, from manure will get into the soil to the roots of the plants or trees and contaminate them.  But research shows that the bacteria and fungi already in the soil and roots can fight off any E. Coli to keep it in check and keep it from spreading to the actual plant or trees.  No research supports E. Coli contaminating plants through manure. 

Will Manure Spread Disease to Humans?

Humans are the ones spreading manure around plants and trees.  Tree service experts come out and handle manure directly to promote healthy growth.  But the worry is that coming into contact with manure will spread diseases.  Yes, such diseases as salmonella, listeria, or E.Coli can be spread from manure to humans.  But the good news is that Austin, Texas tree services professionals can take precautions to prevent any spread of disease.  Here are some tips to follow to prevent the spreading of diseases.

  1. Don’t apply manure directly after planting.  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the recommended waiting time to pally manure is 120 days after planting.  This helps to ensure nothing spreads to the roots while plants are growing.
  2. Don’t use fresh manure.  Fresh manure is higher in ammonia and nitrogen which can burn or contaminate plant roots. 
  3. Use composted manure.  This type of manure lessens the risk of contamination.  Composted manure usually heats up in the spring and summer.  Temperatures of more than 140 degrees will help kill anything, such as E. Coli, that could lead to contamination. 
  4. Ask about the health of the animals if you know where the manure comes from.
  5. Buy pathogen free manure from bags to ensure it is fully composted and safer.
  6. Thoroughly wash your hands, even under the nails, after coming into contact with manure.

Different Manure Is of Different Quality

Tommy’s Tree Services in Austin, Texas recommends using different types of manure for higher quality.  For instance, chicken manure is considered to be more beneficial with better nutrients than cow or horse manure.  You should try to avoid pig, cat, or dog manure because of the added risk of parasites that can infect the soil.  Be sure to do your research before adding manure to your garden, plants, or trees.  Contact our Austin, Texas tree services company for any questions you may have.