Apr 23, 2018

Diseases of Pine Trees

Pine trees make a wonderful addition to any property. They provide protection from the wind, offer shade and fresh oxygen. Their roots keep soil erosion at bay and their pine needles make excellent, nutrient rich mulch for gardeners. One of the best features of pine trees is that they are relatively hardly, and can tolerate many environmental conditions that other tree varieties can’t, such as cold weather, drought and excessive sunlight. However, every creature has it’s weakness, and pine trees are susceptible to a handful of plant diseases that can undermine their integrity and health. At 404-CUT-TREE, we provide a wide range of professional tree services in Atlanta, Chamblee, Tucker, Norcross, Marietta, Duluth, Doraville and other nearby metro area neighborhoods. Our certified arborists and tree care professionals want you to get the most out of your trees, hopefully this information can help you avoid the spread of plant diseases on your property.

Sphaeropsis Tip Blight

Sphaeropsis tip blight, or Diplodia tip blight is created from a fungus called Sphaeropsis sapinea. It causes new growth to halt before it can fully form. Austrian, Scotch, Ponderosa and Mugo pine trees are the most susceptible. Look for brown, stunted needle growth and excessive resin on twigs and branches. Small flecks of black dots called pycnidia will often form below the browning needles.

Dothistroma Needle Blight

Dothistroma needle blight or needlecast is caused by a fungal infection. Signs to look for include yellowing and dark red bands on the needles of your tree. In severe cases, block spots may appear and the needles may shed. If left untreated, the tree will decline in health, growth will slow and it will succumb to death. Laboratory tests conducted by a certified arborist in Atlanta can offer an accurate diagnosis, so a treatment plan can begin.

Pine Wilt

Pine wilt infiltrates trees because of the presence of Bursaphelenchus xylophilus. The nematodes favorite targets are the Scots, Austrian and Japanese Red pine tree varieties. This disease is particularly dangerous because it is easily spread by the pine sawyer beetle and can therefore infect multiple trees if left untreated. After the nematode reaches the pine’s resin, they proliferate quickly, and keep water and vital nutrients from reaching the tree, which will eventually cause tree death. Again, laboratory testing is the fastest and most accurate way to diagnose the disease.

Keeping Your Pine Trees Healthy

Preventative maintenance is the best way to avoid pine tree diseases. Keep your trees healthy with the right blend of fertilizers. Don’t over mulch or over water, as this can encourage fungal growth. Seasonal pruning and the occasional use of fungicidal sprays may help slow or prevent the chances of a severe infection. If you suspect that your pine trees have a plant disease, be sure to get help from a certified arborist right away. If detected early enough, treatment is possible with the use of fungicides. In certain instances, it may be necessary to remove branches or the entire tree in order to prevent further spread of the disease. A dying tree will become vulnerable to other ailments, such as pest infiltration and decay. Because of their height and large stature, dying pine trees can be very dangerous, and can cause personal injuries and property damage.

Searching for a Certified Arborist in Atlanta, GA? Call the Experts at 404-CUT-TREE Today

Contact our office today for more information. Our friendly staff is available to answer your questions and can also help you schedule a convenient time to meet with a certified arborist in Atlanta, Georgia or a surrounding city.