Controlling Decay Fungi in Douglas-Fir Heartwood with Pelletized Sodium N-Methyldithiocarbamate


  • C. M. Sexton
  • J. J. Morrell
  • M. A. Newbill


Fumigants, sodium n-methyldithiocarbamate, wood decay, Douglas-fir, pH


A small block test was used in assessing whether pelletized sodium n-methyldithiocarbamate (NaMDC) would decompose and produce methylisothiocyanate (MITC) and thereby eliminate Antrodia carbonica colonies from Douglas-fir heartwood. Also evaluated were the effects of wood moisture content, dosage, incubation period, pH level, and presence of copper sulfate on percentage of kill of the fungus and amount of MITC in the wood. Increasing moisture content produced the most dramatic increases in MITC production and fungal control. The effects of pH and the presence of copper ions were more variable. The results indicate that pelletized NaMDC can effectively control fungal infestations in Douglas-fir heartwood. Field studies are planned.


Ashley, M. G., B. L. Leigh, and L. S. Lloyd. 1963. The action of Metam-Sodium in soil. II. Factors affecting the removal of methyl isothiocyanate residues. J. Sci. Food Agric. 14(3):153-161.nCorden, M. E., and J. J. Morrell. 1988. Evaluating potential decay control agents with a small block test. Wood Fiber Sci. 20:477-486.nDomsch, K. H., and M. E. Corden. 1973. Influence of copper and zinc ions on toxicity of sodium n-methyldithiocarbamate to Fusarium oxysporum f.s. lycopersici.Arch. Microbiol. 88:345-352.nElson, J. E. 1966. Fungitoxicity of sodium n-methyldithiocarbamate (Vapam) and its decomposition products. M.A. thesis, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR. 35 pp.nEslyn, W. E. 1970. Utility pole decay. Part II. Basidiomycetes associated with decay in poles. Wood Sci. Technol. 4:97-103.nGoodell, B. S., and R. D. Graham. 1983. A survey of methods used to detect and control fungal decay of wood poles in service. Int. J. Wood Preserv. 3:61-63.nGraham, R. D., and M. E. Corden. 1980. Controlling biological deterioration of wood with volatile chemicals. Final Report, Project 212-1. Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA.nMiller, D. B., and J. J. Morrell. 1989. Stability and methylisothiocyanate production of 12 potential solid fumigants for controlling wood decay. Holzforschung 43:191-194.nMorrell, J. J., and M. E. Corden. 1986. Controlling wood deterioration with fumigants: A review. Forest Prod. J. 36(10):26-34.nMorrell, J. J., C. M. Sexton, and S. Lebow. 1988. The effect of pH on decomposition of Mylone (Dazomet) and Tridipam to fungitoxic methylisothiocyanate in wood. Wood Fiber Sci. 20:422-430.nTurner, N. T. 1962. Decomposition of sodium n-methyldithiocarbamate, Vapam, in soil. Ph.D. dissertation, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR. 45 pp.nTurner, N. T., and M. E. Corden. 1963. Decomposition of sodium n-methyldithiocarbamate in soil. Phytopathology 53:1388-1394.nZabel, R. A., F. F. Lombard, and A. M. Kenderes. 1980. Fungi associated with decay in treated Douglas-fir transmission poles in the northeastern United States. Forest Prod. J. 30(4):51-56.nZahora, A. R., and J. J. Morrell. 1988. A note on the sensitivity of a closed-tube bioassay to volatile methylisothiocyanate residues in fumigant-treated wood. Wood Fiber Sci. 20:91-96.nZahora, A. R., and J. J. Morrell. 1989. The influence of wood moisture content on fungitoxicity of methylisothiocyanate in Douglas-fir heartwood. Wood Fiber Sci. 21:343-353.n






Research Contributions