Newly found fungus could threaten Southeast Alaska trees

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A fungus that damages trees is making its way through the state of Alaska.

CoastAlaska News reported Thursday the fungus, spruce bud blight, has damaged trees in Southcentral and Interior Alaska, and now has been discovered for the first time in the southeast part of the state.

The infection was discovered in Southeast Alaska in late June, the first reported sighting in the region.

The blight infects Sitka spruce, one of the most common trees in Southeast Alaska’s rainforest.

The fungus is not easy to spot. It’s black and looks like a dead, crusty coating on the buds.

It is unknown how the spruce bud blight ended up in Southeast Alaska.

Forest Pathologist Robin Mulvey says there’s a chance it could be stopped if it did not arrive naturally.

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