This is really sad......


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OKLAHOMA CITY -- A troubling epidemic is killing one type of tree in the metro. Maybe you've noticed pine trees turning a rusty brown instead of their traditional green. The sad news is those trees will most likely not survive and it appears that all pine trees in the metro are at risk. Charlie English is an arborist, or as he joked, a tree doctor. He and his crew at English Tree Service say a lot of their calls lately have been about the failing evergreens.

English says, "I feel confident that we are going to lose a lot of our pines this summer. I don't remember a time like this ever."

The pines took a beating in the hail storm and are now fighting off another attack.

The sickly look is likely the result of a beetle landing on the trees carrying a microscopic worm.

Ray Ridlen with the Oklahoma County Extension says, "Then they multiply and multiply until there are millions of them, enough to block the vascular system of the tree, so we have death of the tree."

There isn't really a way to prevent pine wilt and when it strikes, it hits hard.

Ridlen says, "It's not unheard of to see these mass areas go down at one time."

Homeowners like Vicki Thompson say the news about the wilt is depressing.

Thompson says, "I've been keeping an eye on my pine and I'm afraid it looks like it's dying and I don't know what to do about it."

Unfortunately there really isn't anything you can do except take out the tree to stem the spread.

Arborists say keeping dead trees in your yard puts your neighbor's trees at risk.

If you have a pine tree that's looking a little brown, there is always the chance it's not pine wilt.

So please consult an expert to see if the tree is salvageable before you decide to take it out.

keep it green,

Bill S

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Western Massachusetts
That sucks Harry, I am afraid though that we will see more of this not less in the future.


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Pittsburg, KS
In the Master Gardener's course they taught us about Pine Wilt. Said most all Austrian pines in our area are gone and the Scots pine are being worked over heavily now. Our problem is in rural areas people don't know or don't care. My sister-in-law has four dead pines in her back yard with the signs of the beetles boring. But she can't pay for tree service and quite frankly doesn't care about it. Kind of makes you feel hopeless. If you are in an afflicted area and must remove a tree the wood must be burned or chipped. Keeping it as firewood allows the beetles to continue vectoring the nematodes from the pile of logs. The only suggestion we were given was to plant something closer to a native pine as soon as possible to offset the tree that you will have to cut down in the next few years. My issue is that the loblolly pine is not that attractive to me. I guess you take what you can get.
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