Dog Poop around fruit trees

buckyz4November 10, 2012

I know there are dangers about putting dog poop in vegetable gardens. Are the dangers still present putting it around fruit trees?

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As long as you don't lick any of the fruit on the ground, you should be OK.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 3:52PM
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Danger of kids stepping in the dog poop and tracking it inside.

IMO only manure from herbivores should be intentionally used as soil amendments.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 10:32PM
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I know I'm veering off subject here, but if manure from non-herbivores shouldn't be used for a soil amendment what should be done with it? There's got to be a better answer than landfill. Would it make sense to use manure from non-herbivores to fertilize pastures for herbivores?

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 8:36AM
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The hands-down densest and healthiest-green banana patch I have ever seen was on a gentle slope just downhill from the many dog runs of a veterinary clinic, where daily watering and fertilizing by hosing out the runs combined with excellent drainage.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 11:21AM
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I put it around the hazelnuts each spring. Out of the way and disappears fast in this climate.
Not sure what the nutrient value is but organic matter is a good thing.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 1:14PM
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Bacteria might travel up empty stems, such as squash or lettuce, but they will never be able to move through wood. Any manure will be fine for woody plants, so long as you don't eat the drops.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 2:41PM
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Thank you

I was thinking about putting the poop around the trees all winter and then covering with wood chips this spring to avoid kids walking on it etc. Now, I just have to convince my wife it is OK to do.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 7:32AM
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you can compost it for ornamentals as well. Just use a separate compost pile or tumbler.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 6:30PM
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Ha ha ha, northernmn's comment cracked me up!

Well, if you have to put dog poop around your fruit trees, bury it under a thick mulch so if someone step on it, it won't spread around.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 1:30AM
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I have intercepted the process a little earlier and once or twice used the cheapest dry dog food as nitrogen (protein) rich organic slow-release fertilizer on a pawpaw tree. A big heavy bulk bag of the cheapest stuff was pretty inexpensive as organic fertilizer goes. I would not have fed this bottom-of-the-line food to a beloved dog though.

I mulched it too, to prevent loss and smell.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 9:41AM
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Spreading dog waste around anywhere - including fruit trees - is a very bad idea. Follow the link below to discover why it is such a bad idea, and for some better/healthier solutions.

Here is a link that might be useful: What to Do with Doggy Doo

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 2:55PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)


Posting a link to as your proof? LMAO. There is nothing at all wrong with putting the manure around fruit trees, it is organic after all. Below is a link to the USDA on composting dog manure for use in the garden....probably more reliable than Now with uncomposted dog manure as long as you do not eat fruit that falls to the ground you are fine and it won't hurt a thing and is good for the trees. The idea of putting chips over it is even better. Clint before posting old wives tales perhaps do a bit of research.

Here is a link that might be useful: USDA composting dog manure

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 3:12PM
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Excellent link from 1991 for folks with 10 to 20 dogs who are looking to compost dog manure in Alaska, Bamboo.

I would caution folks to read that document very carefully before giving it a go in your locale. Here are some key points from it:
"Left alone, dog waste can pollute ground and surface water, attract flies and pests, cause an unpleasant odor, and create unsanitary living conditions for dogs. Dog waste can also transmit parasites and infectious diseases."

"Dog waste compost can be used as a soil additive for revegetation, lawn establishment, and planting beds. It should not be used on crops grown for human consumption."

"REMEMBER! It takes at least 10 dogs, preferably 20, to generate enough waste to maintain a bin."

"Important! Compost must reach 145*F for several days to destroy pathogens"

I would suggest looking into one of the digester systems if you are dead set on keeping dog waste on your property.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 5:28PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Okay, as a nurse, allow me to diplomatically step in here, and make the distinction here that solid waste from dogs, cats, humans, cows, pigs, chickens, etc. all needs to be composted. Mrclint is correct. Especially dog feces, as there are parasites that can be transferred to humans if not composted. Bagged manure that you can purchase at Lowe's for example (they sell chicken manure in bags as my Lowe's) is partially composted. That will kill pathogens. Your nitrogen counts might be lower, but that's a good thing for fruit trees, as you don't want to overdo it with Nitrogen, anyway. There are many things that are "organic", but that isn't always the same as "safe". If you're set on "recycling" dog feces, then compost them in your compost bin, and make sure your temperature in the core of your compost pile is, indeed, at least 145. Turn the pile and keep it hot until it's "cooked".

Patty S.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 8:23PM
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Do not put dog, cat or human feces in a compost bin that you intend to use on crops for human consumption. The small amounts of N that may be gained just aren't worth the risks to your health or the environment.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 9:38PM
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Clint, you use the blanket term "crops for human consumption," and Hoosier, you talk about "parasites that can be transferred to humans." Your warnings fail to differentiate at all between leafy greens grown right a soil level/root crops, on the one hand, and tree fruit picked from the tree on the other. Why the blanket warnings? You seem to be suggesting that the risk would apply to tree fruit picked from the tree. I assume there's no scientific evidence for that and no reason to suspect that there could be an unproven risk. Are you, in fact, suggesting what you seem to be suggesting? If so, do you have any basis for making those suggestions with regards to tree fruit picked from the tree? It seems to me that there's obviously a lot of fecophobia in our send-everything-to-landfills-and-replace-it-with-non-renewable-consumer-products society, so it seems to me some skepticism is warranted with unsubstantiated blanket warnings.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 10:20PM
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Cousinfloyd, your own (or nearby) municipality takes this subject very seriously. Dog waste is a health and environmental hazard. It isn't much of a stretch to conclude that small insects and other critters will crawl up from the ground and into your trees carrying pathogens from your pet waste. There are perfectly good reasons why we have sewer and landfill systems and why a large portion of the world has little in the way of drinkable water.

I suppose one person's fecophobe is another person that washes their hands after going to the bathroom?

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 11:58PM
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When I was a kid, we always threw the dog poop under the guava an avocado trees. The trees were just fine and I never heard of anyone getting sick. Granted this was the tropics and it probably degraded quickly, but my anecdotal experience is that it's not a problem under fruit trees.

Just curious, if carnivore/omnivore poo is so deadly, what happens to the bear/wolf/owl poop in the woods? That blueberry patch or pecan stand didn't kill the kids who ate it's bear fertilized nuts or fruit.....

I know that some parasites can lay dormant, but as long as the waste stays put, and you don't inhale or ingest it, I can't see how it could travel into the fruit or nuts...

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 11:10AM
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I wouldn't recommend it.

Also, make sure you do not let your dogs anywhere near the fruit trees while the fruits are ripe. That's important because while dogs can in moderation eat fruit, fruits seeds are poisonous for dogs.


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 8:15AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I don't think this question has an easy answer. We are now starting to realize that many autoimmune diseases are caused by lack of "real" enemies for the immune system to fight. Many of our friends kids have allergies but my kids don't and I thank our two dogs. I have a great picture of my daughter when she was three walking with a dog turd in each hand and a huge grin on her face.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 9:25AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Ok, well as a Med Tech the guy who isolates these parasites and identifies what they are say it's ok to use for trees. Just be careful with it. Composting is definitely safer. I have much more training than a nurse on this subject. Yes, it is possible, but if you have a dog, you are already at risk. It's not like you can pick up every atom of feces on the grass. So if this concerns you get rid of your dog. Many people use hot manure, and even hot manure from say horses is just as dangerous as doggy dodo. Actually having horses around is much more dangerous than having dogs around.
Both carry ringworm, and rabies.
If you have horses around your risks are:
anthrax, brucellosis, salmonellosis ,cryptosporidiosis ,
leptospirosis ,yersiniosis, and campylobacter. Give me a dog any day!
If you have a dog that lives in your house you have fecal matter throughout your house. Show me a dog that poops, and I'll show you a dog whom wipes his butt on the carpet.
When at the Vet just purchase the worm meds, you should anyway, even if not using the feces. Your kids could get it, you could get them. And if you do, we have a pill for you, no big deal. Not life threatening.We mostly see worms in kids.

Many more people get food born illnesses than anything to do with animals. Should we ban food from the home?
Mis-handle anything and you are at risk. I laughed when E. coli was mentioned as every piece of chicken has E. coli on it. We did this in school went to the super market and swabbed the chicken we got 95% positive for E. Coli.
and/or salmonella.

This post was edited by Drew51 on Wed, Jan 8, 14 at 11:03

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 10:31AM
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Using dog waste around pawpaw trees during bloom should be beneficial, because flies are what pollinate the pawpaw flower. Horse manure is full of weed seeds. Horses carry the tetanus bacillus in their guts too.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 3:59PM
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Check your local laws and ordinances before you decide to hoard dog feces on your property. Better yet, talk to an animal control person face to face and discuss your plan. Most municipalities will site the obvious health warnings as well as environmental factors like polluting local lakes and streams.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 8:58PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

Maybe investing in a Doggie Dooley 2000 Plastic Septic-Tank-Style Pet-Waste Disposal System would serve you better.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 11:07PM
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bennylafleur(6 E. Tn.)

Right now I have the cutest foster dog who is a great turd nibbler. Anyone want to borrow him before he is adopted?


    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 3:57AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)


Nobody is talking about bringing in a truckload of dog crap. It is about using the manure from ones own pets around trees as has been done for who knows how many centuries. Humans still exist so I think it will be ok.

I highly doubt your local dog catcher is a knowledgeable source of information lol.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 8:34AM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

I confess that I have been using ferret poo mixed with wood pellets and have had no incidences (my ferrets have been fed a raw diet of lab rats). I just decided to switch to sphagnum moss as litter for my cats as it is a lot quicker to decompose than wood pellets. My ferrets are too old and set in their ways to switch to sphagnum moss.

That being said, my oldest son did get salmonella from ingesting puppy poop when he was just beginning to crawl. He was VERY sick. I blamed it on the fact that the puppies probably ate chicken poop. The chickens themselves were fed a vegetarian diet.

The whole world is fraught with danger!

This post was edited by milehighgirl on Fri, Jan 10, 14 at 15:06

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 3:05PM
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I recently purchased a home and found out there was a tree in the back is about 9 feet tall how old would I be??

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 10:58PM
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Mark: that tree in your back yard is an English Walnut and is 6 years, 6 months and 7 days old.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 12:24AM
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myk1(5 IL)

Oh my! Seriously, if your pets have parasites that you can get from their crap you've probably already got the parasites. Your kids almost definitely do.
I would question how healthy you keep yourself and your kids if you're allowing your dogs to be ridden with parasites.

The risk of parasites is already there unless you have a magical way of keeping squirrels are rabbits from pooping under the apple tree with anyone else but me. (Rabbits are horrible for tapeworm. Although I'm not sure if you need to eat a segment or if an egg will work direct without the flea host. I did have my dog who scours the yard checked and he was clean so I lean towards needing to eat a segment to get a tapeworm, which is possible.)
The same with poop flavored diseases, it doesn't matter what animal it comes from. That wasn't meat eater crap that contaminated spinach a while ago.
Oh yeah, guess what birds are doing on your trees.

I leave the crap where it falls. Shortly before the fruit falls I fence the tree off and spray any crap away or into the ground with the hose. The worms do the rest.
Then I wash all the fruit whether it hit the ground or not (again, birds in trees).
I suppose if I used a kennel and wanted to use it on the trees I'd bury it around the trees.

Scottfsmith, although it's as good of a guess as any (and a whole lot better than some *cough *blaming GMO* cough*) I don't think they have any idea what the cause of the auto-immune diseases are or the reason for what seems to be an increase. Even without laying the blame for auto-immune we do know the other things, an exposed immune system is a strong one and allergies.
Yep, everyone should eat a little poop in their life. :)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 12:28AM
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The reasons for not using any kind of manure til it is ready is as follows.
1 Animal manure- Horses, dogs, cats and chickens etc.
These animals are usually on some sort of DE-worming schedule.
Batryl,flagell and many other types of DE-wormers take months to DE-grade through composting but, they can be used when ready.The worming medicine kills eathworms ,microbes and many other beneficials and some are systemics.
2 Human manure has many pathogens which with time will break down. Unless you know what drugs the people were on, some prescription drugs take years to neutralize and also destroy soil life forms.
This is why they do not want you to flush them down the toilet.
Manure from wildlife only have what they ingest in the wild and is less apt to have any of these harmful drugs.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 12:05PM
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myk1(5 IL)

I over loaded my compost bin with pig manure from a confinement operation (plenty of drugs used)(neighbors had to have loved me). There was never any lack of life in the compost, in fact there was a boost as one would expect from adding food.
The only bad thing besides the smell was the weeds I introduced.

Feel free to eat all the wildlife manure you want. It will take you less time to get every parasite and disease from that than eating dog poop from treated animals.
If it were possible to treat wildlife most pet disease and parasites would be wiped out.

The dewormers are not constantly used (or shouldn't be). That one pill once in a dog's lifetime is not going to add up to anything in the size of a yard or orchard. And you should be scooping that pile of medicated wormy poo to throw out so they don't eat it and get worms again.
I have only had one puppy with worms. No other dog has ever tested positive in their lifetime to need treated.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 4:29PM
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You misread or misunderstood what I said. Collecting horse manure from a local stable with several dozen horses has a lot of Ivermectin and other dewormer and other treatment medicines in them.
Our locals who raise earth worms won't use it for at least six months.
There are several medicines that animals are given that don't hurt plants when composted.
I don't understand what you mean by going ahead and eating all the wildlife poop I want. I thought we were talking about composting.
Horses are on deworming schedules and if you pick up a load from a place with dozens of horses than the odds are there will be quiet a bit of dewormer in that load.
I have seen horse manure kill entire bins from wormers in town before they knew about degrading time of these dewormers. Just passing down some experiences and knowledge.
Not trying to hurt feelings.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 5:02PM
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myk1(5 IL)

I thought the topic was dog poop around trees.
Many people do give heartworm meds constantly. But I don't think it's enough to be worried about in a yard or orchard. Especially not considering the gallons of pesticide that's dumped in the same area.

No hurt feelings.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 11:13AM
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Lots of anecdotal claims, but little conclusive evidence that ivermectins have any significant effect on earthworm populations. See study linked below.

On the dog poop deal...I'd be more concerned about the risk of visceral/ocular larval migrans from Toxocara(roundworm) eggs than I would bacterial contamination - and then only on 'drops', but if you washed them, the risk would be infinitesimally minimal. Hand-picked fruit... no problem whatsoever.

'Wildlife' are not pristine and blameless; there have been cases of E.coli O157/H7 infection traced to unpasteurized cider made from apples collected in an orchard frequented by deer - and the exact strain of O157/H7 was isolated from deer droppings as was isolated from the human cases.

cuznfloyd - I wouldn't advocate fertilizing herbivore pastures with manure from non-herbivores. I see Sarcocystis cysts in muscle tissue from virtually every mature cow I look at, courtesy of dogs & coyotes defecating in pastures. Additionally, two of the leading causes of abortion in sheep/goats(Toxoplasma gondii) and cattle(Neospora caninum) - are associated with accidental consumption of oocysts from feline(T.gondii) or canine(N.caninum) feces.

Here is a link that might be useful: anthelminthics & earthworms

This post was edited by lucky_p on Mon, Aug 4, 14 at 15:29

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 3:25PM
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Great read. Thanks for that link lucky p.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 10:13AM
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