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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Pruning reduces blister rust in sugar pine with minimal effects on tree growth


Sugar pine trees from nine stands in two California study areas were assessed to determine the effects of pruning on the incidence and growth of white pine blister rust. Lower limbs up to 8 feet high were removed on alternate trees. Six years following treatment, the number of infections in pruned trees was reduced compared to unpruned trees at one study area, but no blister rust was found at the other area. The results suggest that artificial pruning of sugar pine may be part of an effective, integrated strategy to maintain this species in mixed-conifer California forests.

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