Work on White Pine Blister Rust in Minnesota, 1916

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The rust has been discovered in four places only along the eastern boundary of Minnesota, close to the St. Croix river, two of which are nursery infections. One of these nurserymen is known to have brought diseased trees from an old nursery in Wisconsin, just across the river, said trees being a portion of a lot shipped through Hill of Dundee, III., to a Wisconsin nurseryman in 1908 or 1909. We have worked in close cooperation with the Plant Pathology Department, aided in part by the State Forestry Service. Camp was established on the St. Croix river, and scouting under the direction of the State Entomologist was carried on up and down the river for a distance of about fifty miles, with the results as above stated. In the two nurseries mentioned, all five-leaf pines and all currants and gooseberries were destroyed by burning, said nurseries being under quarantine as regards this material until destruction of same. Shipments from these nurseries designated as "leads" were traced and destroyed wherever the slightest suspicion was entertained of the presence of blister rust. In the neighborhood of Dry Creek eradication area was outlined and all Ribes within the area as far as possible destroyed by workmen and experts in the employ part of the time by the State Entomologist and a portion of the time by the federal government, although federal funds were used more particularly in the survey work. Precautions were taken to prevent the spread of spores on the part of workmen by spraying the workmen at the end of working procedures with a weak solution of formaldehyde. All four of these infections lay within a distance of 50 miles along the St. Croix river. The last infection at Pine Hollow Creek was found late in the season at the time of the first frosts, so eradication of Ribes at that time was not practical.

We believe Minnesota has a reasonable hope of eradicating the disease within its borders, and to that end the legislature is being pushed, and appropriation asked for from our state legislature. In planning the work for next year) we are promised cooperation on the part of Wisconsin authorities and it has been recommended that the work in Minnesota be arranged in such a way as to give to the Plant Pathologist with the cooperation of the State Forest Service, the eradication of diseased or dangerous material along the St. Croix, and survey and eradication in nurseries, parks and cemeteries and private plantings to the State Entomologist.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1917

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