This is one of those “hmmm” kinds of research articles. I’m seeing more and more of this kind of stuff coming out of the cinnamon tree (leaves and bark) which of course leads me to wonder about other things.
The Muscodor albus fungus is a naturally occurring cinnamon fungus on cinnamon trees and fumes from it have been an effective control in trials for wheat diseases, potato tuber moths, apple codling moths as well as the most common horticultural fungal problem – grey mould or Botrytis cinerea.
Muscodor’s blend of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) also naturally kills or inhibits fungal and bacterial pathogens, parasitic nematodes, and some insect pests. And there have been no reported effects on humans and it isn’t persistent in the environment (degrades quickly).
There are already some cinnamon-compounds on the hort shelves for home gardener use and I suspect we’ll be seeing more and more of them.
This is a head’s up to watch for them and be prepared to experiment in your own garden once you see/read the label directions.
Note this does not means the edible cinnamon will do this. The trials report on a fungus on the cinnamon tree. Use table cinnamon with extreme caution as it can cause burning of leaf tissue.
Excerpted from “Fungal Fumes Clear Out Crop Pests,” by Jan Suszkiw and Marcia Wood, Agricultural Re- search, February 2010, published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS).