DALLAS (AP) – The effects of the severe drought in Texas are being seen in widespread damage to trees in the state. Pockets of brown, sickly pines now mar the traditionally majestic woods in East Texas. Even drought-resistant cedars are starting to die off in some areas.

An average of 8.5 inches of rain has fallen in the state this year, less than half the normal amount. Foresters are watching insects ravage drought-weakened trees and cities are facings millions of dollars in costs for hauling away fallen limbs and debris in parks.

Forestry officials say the extent of the long-term impact won’t be known until next spring when it is clear how many trees died and how many became dormant. But dry conditions are expected to continue well into 2012.

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