Aluminum vs fiberglass in soil: breakdown/plant uptake/safety?

persianmd2orchardJuly 20, 2013

Hi all,

Perhaps this is a silly question but I have no knowledge about material degradation leading to soil contamination leading to plant uptake and eventually trace amount into fruit.

I'm thinking of putting a mesh screening the kind used for window screens around peach tree base for borer protection in addition to ash. Screen material is readily available in 2 forms fiberglass and aluminum. I think EPA has set levels for safe level of soil aluminum... so maybe not wise to put aluminum all over the soil... I'm thinking fiberglass may be better/less degradation potential? These would be long term installments with regular replacements. I'm thinking long term like 20 years of use could the aluminum (or even the fiberglass) mess up the soil?

I might also instead of this mesh thing do the cloth dipped with tanglefoot method.

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I dont think aluminum will "break down" as much as it will start to corrode. I would be a bit leery about using fibetglass as well. You could try stainless steel. TBH im not sure if the almuninum from screening will make that much of a difference in the long term. maybe take the alum levels in your soil now, and test every 6 months or so

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 7:39AM
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I think they make gardening containers out of fiberglass is why I thought that may be a better route. Maybe I should just go the messy Tanglefoot plus tshirt cloth route. The cloth will expand better as tree sizes up too.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 7:42AM
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Fiberglass screen material is coated with epoxy, or possibly urethane, so it will be the coating that ends up in the soil. Chances are that you will pull up and remove the residual fiberglass material when it looks tattered, so most of it will end up in the garbage can.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 9:34AM
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