MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Evergreen trees in western Wisconsin – the Hudson area specifically – are dying. And forestry specialists still aren’t sure why it’s so centralized.

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In Minneapolis’ Theodore Wirth Park, evergreens seem to be green and healthy. And the Minnesota DNR says they have not seen a dying evergreen problem on the state’s east side.

It seems this natural mystery is centered specifically on pine trees in St. Croix County.

If you drive through the area, especially along Carmichael Road, it’s easy to spot the orange pine trees.

Over 50 years ago, Jim and Margaret Woodruff planted seedlings on their farm to act as a sound buffer.

“We’ve taken care of them, we’ve moved them, we pruned them,” Margaret said.

Years later, they are about 20 feet high. But soon, five will be cut down.

Jim says he is eager to find out what is happening.

“You look out and you just see that tree, all winter long the orange going up, up, up on it,” he said.

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Soon, after half a century, the farmer and his wife will have to officially kill some of their beloved trees.

“We did take one out over there that was completely dead. Now, I got to take this one and that one,” he said.

And it’s not just his problem. Wisconsin’s DNR has received dozens of calls about evergreens are turning orange all over St. Croix County.

“It will be interesting to see what it was that really took them,” Margaret said.

This sentiment is shared by the DNR, who are sending an expert out next week. But they suspect it’s related to the drought and the region’s very sandy soil.

They are also considering the role that road salt may have had after the intense winter.

When it comes to replacing their trees, the Woodruffs won’t go the same route they went in 1956

“We’ll have to get trees,” Margaret said. “We’re not gonna be here another 50 years.”

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in the meantime, the DNR says that if you have an evergreen that is three-fourths orange or more, you may want to remove it within six months for safety.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield