Stress factors causing tree die off in Missouri

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(KTVI) - For a growing number of Missouri trees, this year’s fall leaf drop will be their last.

Mark Grueber of the Missouri Department of Conservation says, “We’ve had some stressful weather conditions over the past few years and along with those stressful weather conditions you get insects and disease that are opportunistic.”

And there have been plenty opportunities the past few years.

Multiple ice storms, hail storms and damaging wind events along with extreme heat, drought and cold have all taken a toll on our trees.

But that is not all says Grueber who also points a finger at the lack of wildfires that used to once thin out the forests – but not anymore.

All of this leads to stressed out trees and stressed trees are more susceptible to disease.

The two most common ailments are oak wilt and bacterial leaf scorch.  The bad news is that both are deadly to trees.  The good news, says Grueber is that the tree die-off is only spotty and that most of the forest…both urban and woodland are in good shape.

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