Local pine trees turning brown due to fungus

Local pine trees turning brown due to fungus

Local pine trees turning brown due to fungus

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by BRIANA BERMENSOLO & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on May 8, 2014 at 7:22 PM

Updated Thursday, May 8 at 7:44 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- People in Spokane County may have noticed evergreen trees in their yard turning brown.

KREM 2 on Your Side wanted to know if that would lead to a bunch of dead trees on your property.

Steve Harris with the Department of Natural Resources said not to worry. This is somewhat normal and the trees are not dying. 

Every seven years or so, the Ponderosa pine is attacked by an organism we cannot see with the naked eye, When it is wet and cool, Harris said the conditions are just right for the fungus to grow in Eastern Washington and North Idaho. 

“Last September we saw a lot of rain and nothing dried out,” said Harris.

The wet days of spring have not helped. Harris said his office receives three to four calls a day from landowners wondering what they should do about their dying tree. Harris said not to cut them down.

"We've gotten a lot of phone calls from people and they say 'All my trees are dying! All my trees are dying! All my neighbor's trees are dying!" and again, the good news is that they're not dying," said Harris.

He said the healthy green needles will come back in the summer when it warms up.

Ponderosa pines rarely die from the fungus. The best advice is to wait and see.

If you have questions about the health of your trees, you can contact the WSU Extension Office or you can have someone come to your house from the Department of Natural Resources.
 

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