Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Tree Problems at Victoria Park East

3 white pine trees in different stages of death
I have noticed in the spring of this year a couple of white pines trees had died. At first I didn't think much of it because it is not uncommon for trees to occasionally die. Later in the summer I noticed some more White Pine trees looked off colour. The needles were no longer dark green. They has a slight chlorotic look (meaning yellow). This discolouration got worse throughout the fall and I realized we were going to loose some more trees. I became quite concerned because the Eastern White Pine is the only healthy pine species we have left on the golf course and it is a beautiful tree. I contacted Jennifer Llewellyn a nursery crop specialist with with OMAFRA to come and have a look. She came out and agreed there is a problem with many of our white pines and has seen similar problems throughout southern Ontario. She requested a follow up visit with some colleagues. In early December she came out again with a pathologist from the University of Guelph and two tree specialists from the MNR. They spent some time analysing an affected tree and took samples back to the lab for further analysis. They feel it is a combination of environmental stresses from drought, high temperatures etc and disease or insect pressure. My main concern is how bad is this problem, are we going to loose every white pine on the property. I am also concerned about our Valley golf course since most of the trees on the property are white pines.
Once the specialists figure out exactly what is killing the white pines then hopefully they can recommend some strategies for future protection. If there are any! I will keep you posted.

Shown here are from left to right: Jennifer Llewellyn from OMAFRA, Tom Hsiang form the University of Guelph, John Mclaughlin from the MNR inspecting the tree.
Shown above John and Thom are inspection the tree after it was cut down to determine if the tree died from the roots up or from the top down.

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