Forest Service Observations

Here are some comments from Isabel Munck, Plant Pathologist with the US Forest Service. She visited Pine Park on June 28, 2019.

Eastern white pines at this location did have symptoms of foliar diseases but they also exhibited signs (conks) and symptoms (adaptive growth, seams, cracks, oozing, rot) of stem, collar and root decay. Given that this site is frequently used for recreation, the soil around some of these trees is compacted, and steep slopes have resulted in shallow rooting depth, the potential of failure at the base of these trees is more serious concern than the impact of foliar diseases. In permanent plots in which we have tagged symptomatic pines and rated their crown condition since 2011, none of the trees have died. They have exhibited growth reductions, but not death. Below are two articles about foliar pathogen impacts and result of thinning stands affected by foliar pathogens.

One of the concerns was the potential for slash to spread foliar pathogens. This is unlikely as other decomposing fungi outcompete foliar pathogens once the foliage hits the ground.

These are the stem, collar, and root decay fungi we observed: