03/30/2011 12:02 PM
Posted by: L. Greenwood
Tags: Outbreaks

Kansas is mostly thought of as a state full of grasslands and corn. But it has a lot of trees in urban areas, along creeks and rivers, and an extensive history of planting trees along the edges of fields as windbreaks (to lessen the strength of the wide-open space's windy days).


These patches of trees are threatened by pine wilt, a non-native disease. So how does it spread? Pine wilt nematodes (like tiny worms) are accidentally spread by native pine sawyer beetles- and the beetles move on contaminated firewood! You can learn more in this recent KSU press release, or read below for a short excerpt from the handy publication Pine Diseases In Kansas: Tip Blight, Dothistroma Needle Blight, and Pine Wilt


"If a tree is suspected to have pine wilt, bring a sample to your local K-State Research and Extension office (for testing)... If the test is positive, the tree should be cut down as soon as possible, or by May 1 at the latest, before the beetles emerge. April 1 is a better deadline to make sure no beetles emerge. Cut the tree to the ground — do not leave a stump. Chip or burn the wood immediately to destroy the beetles and nematodes. Do not save the wood for firewood."


Got that? Chip or burn your dead pines, or pine firewood, promptly. This is a serious disease and getting rid of your dead pines NOW will prevent other trees from dying.

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