Science: Blister War

In the next few weeks 6,000 huskies, sent out by lumber companies and forestry services, will take to the woods, armed for total war. The enemy: white pine blister rust, an incurable fungus infection that is spreading like a blitzkrieg.

Blister rust got its beachhead in the U.S. in 1898, in a shipment of infected white pine striplings from Europe. By the time it was discovered (1906), it had rotted many a noble white pine in the Northeast, and was well started on the path that in 1922 brought it into the great forests of the Northwest.

Blister rust symptoms: a circular, yellowish-orange...

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