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City Trees Blighted by Plant Disease and Environmental Stresses

St. Paul, Minn. (July 10, 2006)—Plant diseases and environmental stresses are impacting the health of trees growing in urban communities, say plant pathologists with the American Phytopathological Society (APS).  

According to Daniel Collins, plant pathology professor, Urban Forestry Program, Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Baton Rouge, LA., a number of well-known plant diseases, such as Dutch elm disease, dogwood anthracnose, powdery mildew, oak wilt, and emerging diseases, such as sudden oak death, continue to threaten the health and vitality of urban trees in the United States and Canada. Environmental stresses such as flooding, wind damage, drought, pollution, and insect pests such as the Asian longhorned beetle also harm the health of urban trees.  

“The urban forest is vital to a community’s economic, ecological, and social well-being,” said Collins. “Urban trees improve air and water quality, protect watersheds, and provide a habitat for wildlife. We need to be aware of the wide range of issues that are affecting the health of urban forests in the United States and Canada and how we can manage them,” Collins said.  

The latest research on plant diseases and other issues affecting the health of urban trees and forests will be presented during the Urban Forestry Health Management symposium held July 31 from 8-11:30 a.m., during the joint meeting of The American Phytopathological Society, the Canadian Phytopathological Society, and the Mycological Society of America. The joint meeting will be held July 29–August 2, 2006, at the Centre des Congrès de Québec, Québec City, Québec, Canada.  

More information on the meeting is available at Members of the media are extended complimentary registration to the annual meeting. To register, contact Susan Schoepke +1.651.994.3802 or by email.

The American Phytopathological Society (APS) is a nonprofit, professional scientific organization. The research of the organization’s 5,000 worldwide members advances the understanding of the science of plant pathology and its application to plant health. The Canadian Phytopathological Society (CPS) is a scientific society that was formed in 1929 as a nonprofit organization to enable plant pathologists to meet and discuss their common interests in teaching and research of plant diseases. The Mycological Society of America (MSA) is a scientific society dedicated to advancing the science of mycology—the study of fungi of all kinds including mushrooms, molds, truffles, yeasts, lichens, plant pathogens, and medically important fungi.