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Internationally Dangerous Tree Diseases and Latin America

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Observations on internationally dangerous tree diseases, previously made in North America, Western Europe, Southern Asia, and the South Pacific have continued in Latin America. The longevity of trees greatly magnifies the problem. Temperature, light, moisture, and soil conditions may be critical in favoring or discouraging pathogenic microorganisms. Most countries have adequate laws against the entry of dangerous pests. However, most quarantine officials report inadequate funds, personnel, and information to protect forest trees. Shifting agriculture on marginal land is particularly destructive for trees. It destroys trees and renders the land useless. The richness in numbers of different kinds of tropical trees is noteworthy. Many valuable trees are neither named nor described for desirable characteristics. Also, pathogens that attack them often need identification. The native trees with demonstrated adaptation to local conditions have many advantages. In certain places attention centers ou planting some foreign trees particularly pine, cedar, eucalyptus, poplar, and teak. Unfortunately, with the imported trees destructive pathogens sometimes have come along and have caused much damage. Comparable problems exist with forest insects. Some conspicuous needs in a program for the protection of forest trees against pathogens from abroad are as follows: (1) An inventory for each country of important trees and their diseases. (2) A list of responsible men in each country. (3) A strengthening of quarantines with a minimum of interference to commerce, travel, and the exchange of scientific materials. (4) A worldwide symposium on critical insects and diseases. This is planned for July 20 to 30, 1964, at FAO in Oxford, England. (5) Cooperative international research on, e.g., host ranges, alternate hosts, environmental influences, disseminating agents, seemingly innocuous pathogens, improved methods of eradication, and disease resistance. (6) Enlarged cooperation between investigators of forest tree diseases and those of other agricultural crops.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Professor of Plant Pathology and Forestry, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Publication date: 1964-04-01

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

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