Saturday, May 19, 2012

Tree Disease in Eastern Ontario ~ Blue Stain Fungus ~ Future Threat~??

Pine trees killed by BSF
Blue Stain Fungus is a detriment to Pine and Fir trees as the Mountain Pine Beetle wrecks carnage via a structure located on top of the beetles head.  This enables the Fungus to attach itself to the beetle and then be transported from tree to tree via this method.  This almost symbiotic relationship between the two allows for the fungus to attach itself to the tree, effectively stopping the tree from producing resin, which enables the beetle to infest an area by laying eggs, avoiding the trees defenses.  This partnership, of sorts, can be seen dwindling Pine/Fir populations all the way from Mexico to Canada.

When the Blue Stain Fungus spores germinate, they produce a "thread~like" mass (mycelium) that conquers the hosts phloem and sapwood.  Because of the sticky substance of the spores, they do not blow away like most, but remain to eventually block out all streams of nutrients that feed the tree causing the tree to starve to death.  

Many experts believe that the overly warm winters are causing the population explosion to occur and as weather continues to warm across the country, you can be sure that this disease will definitely spread as reports gather of it being seen in Alberta and Saskatchewan.  In order to effectively maintain the over infestation, an area needs a cold snap of about two weeks with temperatures ranging -20 degrees or lower.  

Roughly 16 million hectares, which is about twice the size of New Brunswick or 32 MILLION FOOTBALL fields of Pine/Fir trees have been destroyed by this oncoming, widespread devastation in British Columbia alone and its spreading east very quickly.  Think of that on a global carbon balance scale, if this threat continues to invade, the air we breathe will continue to become stagnant and poisoned with the emission build ups that are no longer being processed by the natural air filter eco~system that is being destroyed.

This plight has recently been seen in Eastern Ontario, this is how amazingly fast it can spread...left to the unknown, it will continue to grow.  If unsure whether your Pine/Fir trees suffer from Blue Stain Fungus, do not take any chances...call a professional arborist who will explain the measures you must take in order to save your trees from this oncoming and VERY possible threat.  



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