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Silva Fennica 1926-1997
Acta Forestalia Fennica

Articles by Timo Kurkela

Category : Article

article id 5611, category Article
Arja Lilja, Timo Kurkela, Sakari Lilja, Risto Rikala.. (1997). Nursery practices and management of fungal diseases in forest nurseries in Finland. A review. Silva Fennica vol. 31 no. 1 article id 5611.
Keywords: Pinus sylvestris; Picea abies; forest nursery; Betula spp.; Finland; damping-off; grey mold; root dieback; scleroderris canker; pine twisting rust; seedlings; fungal diseases; Godronia multispora; Lophodermium needle cast; snow blights; birch rust; stem lesions of birch; leaf lesions of birch; Lophodermium pinastri; Botrytis cinerea; Melampsora pinitorqua; Melampsoridium betulinum
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

The purpose of this article was to collate the literature on fungal diseases that occur on seedlings in forest nurseries. It describes the symptoms of the diseases, the infection pattern of each fungus and the possibilities of controlling the diseases. As background a short introduction is given on forests and nursery practices in Finland.

  • Lilja, E-mail: al@mm.unknown (email)
  • Kurkela, E-mail: tk@mm.unknown
  • Lilja, E-mail: sl@mm.unknown
  • Rikala., E-mail: rr@mm.unknown

Category : Article

article id 7612, category Article
Timo Kurkela. (1969). Antagonism of healthy and diseased Ericaceous plants to snow blight on Scots pine. Acta Forestalia Fennica no. 101 article id 7612.
Keywords: Pinus sylvestris; antagonism; Scots pine; Vaccinium vitis-idaea; pathogens; Calluna vulgaris; control; snow blight; Phacidium infestans; ericaceous evergreens
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

Two experiments were conducted in Punkaharju and Leivonmäki in the Central Finland in 1966-67 where the spread of the snow blight caused by Phacidium infestans Karst. was investigated in rows of excised branches from a ten-year-old stand of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). Ericaceous plants (Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull and Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) infected with snow moulds were used to determine their influence on the spread of snow blight.

The results show that significant inhibition of snow blight in Scots pine can be achieved with foliage of ericaceous evergreens. The mechanism of this inhibition is an object of conjecture. In healthy ericaceous vegetation it might be caused by saprophytic fungi living on surface of plants or by some constituent of the foliage. In the case of dead ericaceous foliage, the cause of inhibition seems to be the antagonism of other snow moulds. The antagonism of certain saprophytic organism is well known.

The observed inhibition suggests that ericaceous vegetation may be helpful for reforestation by offering a natural control of snow blight, when seedlings of Scots pine do not stand above the surrounding vegetation.

The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.

  • Kurkela, E-mail: tk@mm.unknown (email)

Category : Research article

article id 360, category Research article
Timo Kurkela, Tarmo Aalto, Martti Varama, Risto Jalkanen. (2005). Defoliation by the common pine sawfly (Diprion pini) and subsequent growth reduction in Scots pine: a retrospective approach. Silva Fennica vol. 39 no. 4 article id 360.
Keywords: height growth; NTM; defoliation; insect attack; needle density; needle production; needle retention; radial growth; herbivory
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
The foliage status in the main stem of Scots pines (Pinus sylvestris) was studied retrospectively using the needle trace method (NTM) on a stand, seriously defoliated by the pine sawfly (Diprion pini) in the 1980s. Needle density increased abruptly in the seasons following the defoliation. The strongest reduction in annual needle production occurred one year later. As a consequence of lower needle production, the annual number of attached needles decreased three to five years after the defoliation. Needle retention and the average age of attached needles tended to increase after defoliation. In analyses of covariance with the NTM variables, needle density (logarithmic transformed values) and average age of attached needles, had the highest, significant, negative relationship with radial and height increments both in the period prior to the defoliation and in the time when the trees were suffering from defoliation. The relationships between height increment and the number of needles and needle loss were positive and significant. Also radial increment had a positive relationship with the number of needles but not with needle loss. Interestingly, an abrupt increase in the needle density gave a good indication of the effects of a sudden defoliation in pines.
  • Kurkela, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa Research Unit, P.O. Box 18, FI-01301 Vantaa, Finland E-mail: (email)
  • Aalto, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovaniemi Research Unit, P.O. Box 16, FI-96301 Rovaniemi, Finland E-mail:
  • Varama, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa Research Unit, P.O. Box 18, FI-01301 Vantaa, Finland E-mail:
  • Jalkanen, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovaniemi Research Unit, P.O. Box 16, FI-96301 Rovaniemi, Finland E-mail:
article id 537, category Research article
Timo Kurkela. (2002). Crown condition as an indicator of the incidence of root rot caused by Heterobasidion annosum in Scots pine stands. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 2 article id 537.
Keywords: Pinus sylvestris; Heterobasidion annosum; root rot; symptoms; disease incidence
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
Trees in three Scots pine stands seriously infected by Heterobasidion annosum were classified according to their crown condition into four classes, from healthy to dead trees. After cutting the stands, the classification was compared with the symptoms of annosum root rot on stump surfaces (pitched area) and with the extension of decay in the roots of excavated stumps. When dead trees were included, the average crown condition on the survey plots correlated with disease incidence. Without dead trees the correlation was not significant. Slightly infected trees could not be distinguished from healthy trees on the basis of crown condition. It was concluded that only the proportion of dead and dying trees in a stand is a reliable indication of the disease incidence for making decisions about the future management.
  • Kurkela, Finnish Forest Research Institute, P.O. Box 18, FIN-01301 Vantaa, Finland E-mail: (email)

Category : Review article

article id 147, category Review article
Arja Lilja, Marja Poteri, Raija-Liisa Petäistö, Risto Rikala, Timo Kurkela, Risto Kasanen. (2010). Fungal diseases in forest nurseries in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 44 no. 3 article id 147.
Keywords: damping-off; grey mold; root dieback; needle casts; snowblights; scleroderris canker; Sirococcus; pine twisting rust; stem lesions and top dying; leaf lesions; Venturia; powdery mildews
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
Norway spruce (Picea abies), Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) and silver birch (Betula pendula) are the major tree species grown in Finnish forest nurseries where 99% of the seedlings are grown in containers first in plastic-covered greenhouses and later outdoors. The main diseases on conifer seedlings are Scleroderris canker (Gremmeniella abietina), Sirococcus blight and cankers (Sirococcus conigenum), snow blights (Herpotrichia juniperi and Phacidium infestans) and needle casts (Lophodermium seditiosum and Meria laricis). Also grey mould (Botrytis cinerea) and birch rust (Melampsoridium betulinum) are among the diseases to be controlled with fungicides. During last years Scleroderris canker has been a problem on Norway spruce, which has been since 2000 the most common species produced in Finnish nurseries. Root die-back (uninucleate Rhizoctonia sp.) on container-grown spruce and pine was a problem in the 1990s. Today the disease has become less common in modern nurseries due to improvements in hygiene and cultivation practice. Since 1991 stem lesions and top dying caused by Phytophthora cactorum has been a problem on birch. The ongoing climate change has already had effect on rusts and powdery mildews as well as other fungi infecting leaves. All diseases, which gain high precipitation and warm and long autumns. For same reasons winter stored seedlings need sprayings against grey mold. Fungal infections are also possible during short-day (SD) treatment, that is necessary for summer and autumn plantings and a beneficial step prior freezing temperatures outside or in freezer storage. Growers are encouraged to use cultural and integrated pest management techniques such as better nursery hygiene, including removing plant debris in nursery growing areas and hot water washing of containers plus removal of diseased, spore-producing seedlings and trees around the nursery.
  • Lilja, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa, Finland E-mail: (email)
  • Poteri, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Suonenjoki, Finland E-mail:
  • Petäistö, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Suonenjoki, Finland E-mail:
  • Rikala, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Suonenjoki, Finland E-mail:
  • Kurkela, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa, Finland E-mail:
  • Kasanen, University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences, Helsinki, Finland E-mail:

Category : Research note

article id 702, category Research note
Timo Kurkela, Heikki Nuorteva. (1998). Short-needle disease of Scots pine: an abnormal needle length distribution. Silva Fennica vol. 32 no. 1 article id 702.
Keywords: Pinus sylvestris; Scots pine; needle length; insect feeding; tissue deformation
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
Short-needle syndrome occurs commonly in southern Finland. The disease is characterized by abnormal length distribution of the needles in shoots. In most cases, affected shoots have needles of normal length as well as very short needles. The short needles are those injured during the needle elongation period; the tissues formed abnormal sclerenchymatic structures and wound periderm. One possible cause could be hemipterous insects feeding on growing needles. Salivary sheaths of such insects were often present in both deformed needle bases and undeformed mature tissues.
  • Kurkela, Finnish Forest Research Institute, P.O. Box 18, FIN-01301 Vantaa, Finland E-mail: (email)
  • Nuorteva, Finnish Forest Research Institute, P.O. Box 18, FIN-01301 Vantaa, Finland E-mail:

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