Pine wilt kills Scotch and Austrian pines in Southeast Nebraska; disease is caused by parasitic nematode carried on wood-boring beetles

BEATRICE, Nebraska , February 20, 2012 () – A disease called pine wilt is killing evergreen trees in southeast Nebraska.

It affects mostly Scotch and Austrian pines and is caused by a parasitic nematode carried by a wood boring beetle. Pine wilt causes a pine tree's foliage to turn brown and die quickly, often within two months.

She told the Beatrice Daily Sun that there's no cure for pine wilt, which first showed up in the area about two years ago.

Nicole Haxton is a horticulturist with the Gage County Extension Office. She told the Beatrice Daily Sun (http://bit.ly/xpU2Dh ) that there's no cure for pine wilt, which first showed up in the area about two years ago.

Haxton says the microscopic nematode attacks the tissues in the wood, causing decreased water flow. The nematode is carried from tree to tree by the beetle. Controlling pine wilt is done by destroying trees that have the disease.

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