Drought may slow growth for red oak, white pine trees

DURHAM, N.H. (AP) — Growth for trees such as red oak and white pine trees is likely to lag next year because of the severe drought, a University of New Hampshire researcher said.

Heidi Asbjornsen with the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station said both trees have very different ecological “strategies" for managing moisture stress that happens during a drought.

She said white pines shut down water uptake and photosynthesis as moisture becomes more limiting. Red oak has deep roots and is a more tolerant species, but reduced growth could make the tree more susceptible to pathogens and disease, she said.

UNH says this year's drought is similar to the one the state experienced in 2016, occurring later in the season and affecting the southeast portion of the state to the greatest extent.