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Some Minnesota trees are suffering from drought

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Some trees in northern Minnesota are suffering from drought, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.

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Eight of the last 11 summer and fall seasons have been very dry in northern Minnesota and pines and other conifers in that area are dying in slightly larger numbers than usual, according to the DNR.

People may notice trees changing colors, DNR forest health specialist Jana Albers told Minnesota Public Radio.

"That's the thing with conifers when they die during the growing season," Albers said. "They turn that bright red-orange. And it's very noticeable, versus a hardwood tree just drops all its leaves and you don't notice it."

But this year's spring and early summer weather has been good for tree growth, she said.

The growing season has lengthened in northern Minnesota but rain totals haven't kept up. There are also more intense bouts of rain, rather than long soaker rains, she said.

"They're very spotty in terms of where they put the rain and also how much they put and the speed with which they put it down," she said. "Short bursts of a lot of rain if you're on a hill or something like that, and it doesn't percolate into the soils."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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