Douglas firs and other trees are dying in Southern Oregon forests, where three years of drought have been taking their toll.
The Mail Tribune reports that experts say even more drought-tolerant trees like Ponderosa pines have lost out in the competition for water. The wet winter couldn’t prevent tree death after years of drought and beetle attacks.
The die-off in Applegate Velley, up the West Cascades and into the Willamette Valley appears to be even worse than those caused by drought in the mid-1990s and early 2000s. The scale of the die-off will be quantified during aerial mapping surveys next month.
Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest plant pathologist Ellen Goheen says there seem to be more dead and dying conifers than at any point during the past 22 years.