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Using dead tree branches - any reasons not to?

prairiemoon2 z6b MA
last year
last modified: last year

A neighbor's Silver Maple dropped a largish branch in our yard and we were considering using it as an edge around a raised vegetable bed. The branch doesn't look that healthy - one area has something black around an old knot. Not sure if it is a fungus or mushroom or something that leaked out of it or if it is a disease? So I'm hesitating to use it because I don't want to spend a week researching whether there is some disease there that I should keep away from my vegetable garden.

Thought someone here might have some thoughts or experiences? I could post some photos if it would help.

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