Thursday, October 20, 2016

Laminated Root Rot in Hunter Park requires significant tree removal

Map of City of Langley Parks in the south of the community. Hunter Park outlined. Select map to enlarge.

Hunter Park is located along 200th Street in the City of Langley. Earlier this year, City of Langley Parks staff became concerned that trees in this park were not healthy. After testing, it was determined that trees in this park have Laminated Root Rot. Here are some quick facts about the disease that was put together by the City:

Cross-section of trunk decay from Laminated Root Rot. Source: Dr R. L. James ( (Hagle et al. 2003) USDA Forest Service.
  • Laminated Root Rot is considered to be the most damaging root disease in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Root systems of infected trees are so weakened structurally that the tree may topple before visible symptoms appear in the tree crown.
  • The disease spreads through root contact between adjacent infected trees or stumps and susceptible host trees such as Douglas Fire and Western Hemlock trees.
  • The Laminated Root Rot fungus may remain viable in stumps for up to 50 years. Susceptible tree species can be infected if planted or regenerated in the area.
  • Best management practices recommend that all known diseased trees as well as uninfected susceptible trees within 15 metres of an infected tree should be removed.

In Hunter Park, the City has identified that at least 100 trees will need to be removed. Because of the nature of this infectious disease, more trees may need to be removed if it has been found to have spread outside of the bounds of Hunter Park. Also, non-wind resistant trees may need to be removed within the park.

Unfortunately Douglas Fir, Grand Fir, and Hemlocks trees will not be able to be replanted in Hunter Park for 50 years. After the tree removals are complete, and the infectious disease contained, the City will be initiating a park redevelopment plan with community involvement.

One of the things that I’ve been advocating for is a tree canopy enhancement strategy. The time seems right for this to come forward, and I will continue to advocate for this. Logging trees in City parks is something that I wouldn’t normally support, but it is critically important to get Laminated Root Rot under control in our city to save the remaining Douglas Firs and Hemlocks.

For more information, please visit the City of Langley’s website.


Anonymous said...

You can plant susceptible species much sooner than that if you take more aggressive (expensive) measures. The fungus can live for 50 years in stumps...the stumps can be removed, smaller roots that remain will not have fungus that is viable for the same length of time. I would recommend stumping and reforesting with alternate species in the short term. In the longer term you could reforest with susceptible species within 10 to 15 years after stumping. In forestry applications susceptible species can be replanted immediately following stumping but the values and risks in a park are different and I would use the more cautious approach I mentioned.

Unknown said...

You can't increase your tree canopy if you don't protect trees. Bottom Line.