Effects of smoke, drought on plant life in North Dakota

Local News 14-9-2017 KMOT 35

Effects of smoke, drought on plant life in North Dakota

The incoming smoke from the fires out west raises the question of whether it will affect plant life in North Dakota.

The smoke has created a haze across much of western North Dakota that appears to be filtering sunlight.

Leaves start to change this time of the year as the days get shorter and there's less sunlight.

Retired Minot horticulturist Steve Wharton said he is more concerned about the impact of this year's drought on plants than the smoke, but the smoke could impact plant life if it remains for an extended period of time.

“The two are gonna end up being kind of connected in the long run because we've been in a drought for several months here now. It's not good on a lot of plant species. You're gonna see them start turning earlier. They may fall without event turning color this year,” said Wharton.

Wharton said if you have any concerns on how either the drought or the smoke is impacting your plants, trees, or your lawn, you should contact your local extension office for more information.


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