City of Phoenix, State Forestry working to curb 'Aleppo Pine blight'

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The City of Phoenix tells us they are monitoring the Aleppo Pine blight. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The City of Phoenix tells us they are monitoring the Aleppo Pine blight. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The Aleppo Pine blight is Valley-wide, and is not restricted to city parks, the City said. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Aleppo Pine blight is Valley-wide, and is not restricted to city parks, the City said. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Multiple agencies are trying to figure out what's causing the Aleppo Pine blight. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Multiple agencies are trying to figure out what's causing the Aleppo Pine blight. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

If you've noticed big shade trees looking a little worse-for-wear around the city, you're not alone. The City of Phoenix tells us Aleppo Pine blight is widespread throughout the Valley.

"It just is a beautiful spot which I consider to be an oasis in a city as big as Phoenix is becoming," said Mary Engel, who has been coming to Granada Park for 30 years.

But lately, she said she has noticed a change in the leaves.

"Just this loss of vitality," she said. "You can see they're struggling a little bit."

The City of Phoenix tells us they are monitoring the Aleppo Pine blight, which they say they are seeing Valley-wide, and is not restricted to city parks. They're now working with the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management to figure out what's causing it.

"I have gotten hundreds of emails," said Dave Owens, aka Dave The Garden Guy. He said last summer could be a factor.

"Those 120-plus-degree temperatures contributed to a lot of what you're seeing with this dieback," Owens said.

The State Forestry Department said they're also looking at several factors, including water stress, insects and air quality. They are creating a task force and inviting members of each municipality to take part, to preserve our urban forestry.

Engel said she hopes they isolate the problem soon.

"I feel like a park represents a city's conscience and their character, so it matters to me that these trees are well taken care of," she said.

To speak to a Certified Arborist, email: UCF@dffm.az.gov.

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Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Lindsey ReiserLindsey Reiser is a Scottsdale native and an award-winning multimedia journalist.

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Lindsey Reiser

Lindsey returned to the Valley in 2010 after covering border and immigration issues in El Paso, TX. While in El Paso she investigated public corruption, uncovered poor business practices, and routinely reported on the violence across the border.

Lindsey feels honored to have several awards under her belt, including a Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award, Hearst Journalist Award, and several National Broadcast Education Association Awards.

Lindsey is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, and she currently serves as a mentor to journalism students. She studied for a semester in Alicante, Spain and also earned a degree in Spanish at ASU.

She is proud to serve as a member of United Blood Services’ Community Leadership Council, a volunteer advisory board for the UBS of Arizona.

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