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City to cull hundreds of infected chokecherry trees

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City of Winnipeg foresters plan to cut down 800 Shubert chokecherries severely infected with black knot fungus.

The diseased trees are located in most parts of the city but are concentrated in newer developments in Linden Woods, St. Norbert, South St. Vital and West Kildonan, said city forester Martha Barwinsky.

The trees will be culled this year and replaced within three years by a more diverse array of trees, such as Japanese tree lilacs, Amur maples and crabapple trees. Shubert chokecherries, a cultivar of a native tree species, are very susceptible to black knot fungus, which is endemic to the local chokecherry and plum population, Barwinsky explained.

The fungus usually does not kill trees and merely poses an esthetic issue. But chokecherries with advanced infections begin to suffer from other diseases, Barwinsky said.

During a normal year, the city cuts down 150 to 200 Shubert chokecherries.

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