[Tweeters] Douglas-fir Die-off -- Off topic

Denis DeSilvis avnacrs4birds at outlook.com
Wed May 22 08:58:55 PDT 2013


Because you're the largest, most out-in-the-field group of folks I know of,
I'm turning to you to get a small bit of information.

The problem: Douglas-fir trees, mostly in the under-20-yo group, are dying
off in my area. In particular, I've noticed an incredible number of younger
trees north and east of the Nisqually River throughout JBLM, Parkland,
Spanaway, and Roy are dying. The symptoms usually start at the top of the
tree and progress downward, with the leaves often turning a bright
orange-brown. Within a few weeks of starting to turn color, the tree is
dead. And it appears to be spreading to older trees, too.

A person in the DNR, albeit with only one photograph to go by, thought it
was due to "winter burn." However, winter burn is associated with wind, and
hundreds of trees I've seen in the area that are affected aren't subjected
to wind (they are under deep canopy, in a windbreak area, in moist
locations, etc.). Another observer stated "It acts like a pythium in
severity or a Fusarium/microdochium. The key for me is I do not see
recovery which I would expect to see from winter burn."

If you've noticed this die-off in your area, please send me a note (off post
- directly) with the following information:

Where you've seen this occurrence. For example, "Along highway 507 from the
intersection of highway 7 to McKenna"; or "Along the Murray Creek wetland to
the east of Pincus Road." Please be specific as you can, but don't go to a
lot of trouble with GPS coordinates, etc. I'm merely trying to see how
widespread is this phenomenon.

Type(s) of trees affected. I believe this die-off is also affecting noble
firs in the former Christmas tree farm near me. But I've seen this almost
exclusively in Douglas-firs.

Approximate number of trees affected. Subjective is definitely OK - "many,"
"several," "just a few," etc.

With your help, I'm going to compile a subjective overview of the extent of
this problem and send what I find to the DNR and possibly to the plant
pathologists at WSU. (Right now, I'd be worried if I were a Christmas-tree
farmer and young Douglas-firs on a nearby property were dying.)

Thanks for all your help, and may all your birds be identified,

Denis DeSilvis

Roy, WA

Mailto: avnacrs4birds at outlook.com

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