Pine Wilt Attacking Trees Throughout Nebraska

By: Risa Avila
By: Risa Avila

Pine Wilt is sweeping through southeast Nebraska. State foresters say it could reach epidemic proportions throughout the state. Pine Wilt primarily attacks Scotch pines, which are plentiful in Nebraska.

Richard Sutton is a landscape architect at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, "It's caused by an organism called a pine nematode."

The nematode is a parasite of a certain beetle that attacks a tree's water system and eventually kills it.

An affected tree will look like it is needing water and will have lost its bring green color. One thing that is not a sign though is dead branches. Sutton says the tree will die as a whole and when it does, proper removal is crucial.

One of the most important things, Sutton says, is to diversify your landscaping. Don't plant only one kind of tree, plant an array. That way it's harder for the disease to spread.

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