Pines browning near roadways?


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Columbus, Ohio
I drove from North Carolina to Ohio today and noticed some disturbing damage to most all pines along the roadway.
The west facing side of all pines were dead and had brown needles.
Many of the smaller pines were completely dead.
Trees on the west side of the road appeared to be undamaged.

I would guess it is salt damage from the roadway, maybe carried by wind as cars churn up the wet roadways.

Has anyone else noticed this type of damage along your roadways?


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In S.E. PA. I've noticed it, but not to the same extent.
I just drove from Elizabeth City NC to Va. Beach VA the other day and I didnt notice anything unusual, I did see a ton of beautiful trees that I wouldnt mind adding to my collection. we dont get alot of snow, so that might have something to do with it.
Last October I drove From Eastern PA To Indianapolis. Never saw a single pine browned out in PA or Indiana...But the entire breadth of Ohio was littered with browned out trees. I have to believe this damage is caused by man and that Ohio is using some product that will carry in the wind. I wonder if there road crews don't use some sort of herbicide. Salt seems unlikely to me as most of these trees sat a good bit back from the interstate. I know that the railroads here in pa started recently using herbicides...lots of excellent material that were trimmed by cutter cars were destroyed because of this change to chemicals.
State Departments of Transportation often spray herbicide along roadways to reduce weeds and to improve visibility.
In southern Ontario it is salt applied to roads in winter. The pines are more sensitive than spruces planted along highways.

Could be that the Hwy Depts are using an herbicide to reclaim the right of Ways and get rid of the trees and brush, along the highways. With all the weather the NE has seen this year I have seen where a lot of trees came down in the travel lanes of the highways in different areas. I think there may be some forward thinking to eliminate roadway blockages with clearing the potential problems away.
I'd happily see some dead pines on the side of the road in exchange for entire forests of 5-needle pines which are standing dead in the west. :(

Montana, Oregon, Colorado, Idaho, and Washington have a big big problem... and we introduced it to ourselves in the early 1900s when we are trying to reforest the East. The first US Forest Cheif sent seed from our trees to Germany to be propogated... White Pine Blister Rust is a nasty fungus we got from them when they came back infected with Cronartium ribicola.

Estimates say that every 5-needle pine will be dead in Glacier National Park within 5 years. 89% of the population is infected already, with 50% of it already dead.

If you drive west... it's a grim and sad thing to see.

Bad thing is that with current land management practices, the fires which help re-seed the population, and might produce fungus resistant trees, won't happen in time... because the cycle of 50-300 years for fire release of pine seeds has been statistically increased to 3000 years. (White pines being highly fire tolerant became of a dominating species in N. America because of this trait.)

It's also the reason that congress inacted the first regulations on the restricted import of trees... since our nation's trees had no ability to fight off the pathogens of Asia and Europe.

Interesting facts....

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HEmlocks from the little adelgigs(sp?), hardwoods to the Asian Long horned beetle, and some think sneaking a tree home in the carryon is ok. I realize it's probably more of an international shipping issues rather that the once in a while sneak in, but that is why the quarantine have been put in place, and why I would never try to hide one on a plane etc.. We have some big problems to face with bug issues like these. Do you remember the arial assault on the med flys?
No I don't... I don't think we've had those here... but then again, I don't live in a high agricultural area... we're timber folks here... but the idea and problem are the same. Unresistent species being infected with vertiable plagues. :(

Vic I mistakenly thought of you in Cal., but when the med fly was all the rage, it was in the news on the east coast probably as often as out in Ca., they just about had curfews so they could do ariel assaults on the little buggers, it was a mess. I'm a bit loder so I remember it, hey at least I am remembering.;)
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