Fatal Pine Disease Moves into Barton County

GREAT BEND, Kan. (AP) _ A fatal pine disease is moving in moving westward in Kansas at a rate of 10 miles per year.

District forester Jim Strine says if people don't do anything to prevent the spread, as many as 90 percent of the Austrian Pines in Great Bend could end up dying.

Plant pathologist Jon Appel says the disease spreads like a domino effect and could get to Dodge City and La Crosse next.

Experts say county residents should work together to create a plan for early detection and removal of infected trees.

Pine wilt is spread by sawyer beetles that are hosts to tiny pinewood nematodes. Trees change color from a vibrant green to brown before dying.

The dead tree should be burned, buried or chipped. Otherwise, the beetles emerge in the spring and hit another tree.

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(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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