Pathogen discovered as a cause of mysterious disease killing Arkansas pine trees

By Andrew Mobley
ABC News 7
July 5, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

LITTLE ROCK — The investigation into a mysterious ailment killing Arkansas pine trees has yielded some answers. The increasing occurrences of the strange affliction in recent months have experts scrambling to understand the phenomenon. “What we determined is what we labeled as a decline scenario. Multiple damage agents, multiple issues are causing the trees to decline and subsequently die,” said Chandler Barton, a Division Forester with the Arkansas Department of Agriculture. Whatever is slowly killing Arkansas’ pine trees seems to have spread deeper into the state, alarming private landowners and those in the timber industry. …Recently, samples of affected trees tested positive for a virulent fungus. “We did get confirmation for Brown Spot Needle Blight, which is a disease that has also been observed in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana for several years in Loblolly Pine,” said Michael Blazier, Dean of the College of Forestry at the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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