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Mar 21, 2015 10:20 AM

Scientists confirm renewed threat to white pine trees

The Associated Press

DURHAM (AP) - A study says that a mutated fungus is infecting white pine forests in parts of NH.

White pine blister rust comes from a combination of white pines and flowering plants - called ribes - like gooseberries and currants. When infected ribes lose their leaves in the fall, spores of the fungus invade white pines and eventually kill the tree.

A U.S. Forest Service study says the fungus is infecting trees in Epsom and Concord, and possibly elsewhere in the Northeast.

Scientists became concerned in October 2013 that the mutated fungus was seen on black currant plants that were said to be immune in New Hampshire.

Hundreds of white pine samples were sent to a Canadian Forest lab for testing, and were later confirmed to be infected.


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