Magazine article American Forests

Dogwoods Dying in Kentucky Np

Magazine article American Forests

Dogwoods Dying in Kentucky Np

Article excerpt

Anthracnose, the deadly fungus that has killed wild dogwoods, has affected 70 percent of Mammoth Cave National Park in south-central Kentucky, according to the Associated Press.

AP quoted park officials who said a recent study of 2,298 trees selected at random showed 28 percent killed, 43 percent affected, and 29 percent untouched. In addition to being a "keystone species people look for in the spring," Mark DePoy, the park's chief of science and natural resources, told AP the fruit benefits wildlife and the leaves return nutrients to the soil when they decompose. A North Carolina-based plant pathologist for the U.S. Forest Service said the disease probably originated in a foreign country.

The U.S. Forest Service estimates the East has lost about half its native dogwoods to the fungal disease, which at this point has no cure. Trees are better able to resist the fungus, which needs cool, wet weather, when they get more sun and good air circulation. …

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