Beech bark disease is creating a ‘zombie forest’
Nov. 14, 2018 – Beech bark disease is infecting and killing trees within two to five years, Svetlana Zeran, a forester from Bancroft, Ont., said to CBC’s Ontario Today.
Red fungus grows inside beech trees after an insect digs hole in the bark, weakening the tree from the inside.
Zaren told Ontario Today that the disease is spreading quickly, and young trees that grow to replace dead mature trees are also susceptible. “It will keep re-infecting those young saplings that will never reach maturity, will never produce beech nuts,” she said. “It is a self-perpetuating cycle. I call it the sort of zombie forest.”
Zaren said the Ontario government has not been receptive to her company’s request for help in removing dead or dying trees to limit the spread of the disease. However, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry spokesperson Jolanta Kowalski told CBC there is no way to control the disease.
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