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Drought contributes to northern Min. tree death

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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources finds that the drought is responsible for the deaths of pines and other conifers in northern Minnesota. MPR reports the trees are dying in slightly larger numbers than usual.

While this year's spring and early summer weather has promoted tree growth, eight of the last 11 summer and fall seasons have been very dry in the region.

Jana Albers, a forest health specialist for the DNR in Grand Rapids, told MPR that today's growing season in northern Minnesota is a month longer than it once was, but rain totals haven't kept up.

She added that fall colors may be more brilliant because of the distressed trees. She said conifers are brighter when they die during the growing season.

"They turn that bright red-orange," she said. "And it's very noticeable."

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