Pine decline in the southern U.S. has recently been described as a possible threat to forest production sustainability. Among southern pines, loblolly pine decline was first observed in 1959 in the Talladega National Forest on the Okmulgee and Tuscaloosa Ranger districts in Alabama (Brown and McDowell, 1968). This has been termed as “loblolly pine die-off”. According to Roth and Preacher (1971), incidences of mortality were reported during early 1970s which included the symptoms such as chlorotic crowns, thinned crowns, deteriorated fine and lateral roots and reduced growth.
Phytopthora cinnamomi Rands was initially suggested as the causal agent of “loblolly pine die-off” (Hess et al., 1999). Increased occurrence of loblolly pine declines