AUGUSTA — Maine officials are fielding plenty of calls suggesting white pine needle disease is a continuing problem.

The white pine needle disease epidemic has been occurring in New England and New York for at least eight consecutive years.

It’s blamed on heavier-than-normal precipitation and it’s caused by fungi that infect needles in spring and develops through the summer. The following year, when the weather warms, the symptoms become apparent, with yellowing needles.

Maine officials say white pines continue to show weakening due to the stress caused by reduced foliage.

State foresters are collaborating with neighboring states and the U.S. Forest Service to determine the scope of the problem and identify solutions.

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