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Rusts affect many plants growing in British Columbia (B. C.). They affect not only the cones, foliage, branches and stems of trees, but also infect and deform numerous susceptible herba-ceous plants. Numerous rusts have a significant impact on a variety of cur-rent reforestation and silvicultural practices. For example, white pine blister rust, caused by the fungus Cronartium ribicola, has greatly reduced the viability of white pine as a commercial tree species in B. C.
When warm, moist weather condi-tions prevail during the spore release periods, extensive foliage loss and shoot, branch and top mortality may occur. The type of damage varies with the rust species.
Six species of needle and broom rusts commonly occur on spruce in the Pacific Region. An additional five species have been collected only on the secondary host in the region. All belong to the genus Chrysomyxa of the rust order Uredinales.
For more information, see the Spruce foliage and broom rusts Forest Pest Leaflet in the Canadian Forest Service bookstore.