- Associated Press - Saturday, August 20, 2016

CAMPTON, N.H. (AP) - An annual aerial flight looking at the health of White Mountain National Forest shows problems with white pine trees and sugar maples.

More than 39,000 acres of damage were mapped this year, most showing white pine discoloration caused by a yellow and brown coloring of needles. The Forest Service says trees most severely affected are usually growing at the edge of bodies of water; in wet areas; and on dry, steep slopes.

The discoloration is caused by several types of fungus and is exacerbated by wet spring weather. There are currently no treatments available for this condition.

The mapping also showed damage to sugar maples and aspen by the forest tent caterpillar. Over 15,000 acres have been affected. While insecticides to control the caterpillar are available, there are no plans to treat any of the stands currently infested.

The quantity and quality of sugar maple sap is greatly reduced as a result of the caterpillars, the Forest Service said.

The acres mapped this year are “significantly more” than over 13,000 acres mapped last year and indicate a short-term increasing trend in damage, the Forest Service said.

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