Ghost forests becoming all too common along coast


Ghost forest are becoming all too common along the East Coast.

These areas aren't called ghost forests because they are haunted but because it's filled with dead trees. The trees nearest the water begin to die because of high salt water intake. The trees are getting closer to the water by two factors, said Mark Smith with the N.C. Coastal Federation.

"The shore side is continually eroding away putting these trees closer to the shore than they ever were because of erosion," Smith said. "But it's like I said, either the water's rising or the land's sinking. There's no doubt about that."

Smith, a lifelong resident of the area, said the trees facing the most danger are pines. He said cedar trees that also grow along the coast can withstand higher salt levels. But salt water isn't the only threat.

"Well, generally after major hurricane events in the last ten years, that's put much of a hurt on them, and that makes the pine beetles around here more susceptible to get in there and eat on them."

Smith said when he was growing up, he didn't see many storms like he does now. He believes that to be impacting the trees as well. He also said not all bad things come from ghost forests and hopes that once the trees decompose and the water levels stay down, we will see beautiful new forests take their place.

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