Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Forestry Sciences


Natural Resources Management


College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


Richard C. Cobb

Advisor Department

Natural Resources Management

Advisor College

College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


We conducted an experimental evaluation of treatments to limit Heterobasidion occidentale infection of white fir (Abies concolor) stumps and wounds in California mixed conifer forests. We tested the efficacy of urea, borate, and a mixture of two locally collected Phlebiopsis gigantea strains in preventing pathogen colonization of fir stumps and separately, urea and borate as infection controls on experimental stem wounds. These were paired with a laboratory test on ~100 g wood blocks with and without a one-week delay between inoculation and treatment. Urea, borates, and Phlebiopsis treatments all significantly reduced the stump surface area that was colonized by H. occidentale at 84%, 91%, and 68%, respectively, relative to the controls. However, only the borate treatments significantly lowered the number of stumps that were infected by the pathogen. The laboratory study matched the patterns that were found in the stump experiment with a reduced area of colonization for urea, borates, or P. gigantea treatments relative to the controls; delaying the treatment did not affect efficacy. The field wound experiment did not result in any Heterobasidion colonization, even in positive control treatments, rendering the experiment uninformative. Our study suggests treatments that are known to limit Heterobasidion establishment on pine or spruce stumps elsewhere in the world may also be effective on true firs in California.