Your pine trees can be affected from two forms of blight and canker diseases, Diplodia Blight and Leucostoma Canker.
Diplodia blight affects pine trees as well as Douglas-fir, cedar, and spruce trees. This disease stems from a fungus that infects and kills young shoots and needles before they elongate. Trees affected by Diplodia blight can appear tan from a distance, as the fungus turns the needles to a straw-like color. When examined in near distance, small, black fungal structures can be observed in trees suffering from the disease.
Drought-stressed trees are particularly vulnerable to Diplodia blight. The fungus is most apt to spread during periods of rain and trees in desperate need of hydration tend to be unable to effectively contain the fungus. Diplodia blight can also occur as a latent infection that can go unnoticed until the tree experiences periods of stress.
Leucostoma canker is also caused by a fungus and takes its host in spruce and conifer trees, including pine, hemlock, Douglas-fir, fir, and arborvitae. Trees affected by leucostoma canker will present with cankers that appear as sunken areas on branches and the tree’s trunk. Older, lower limbs will also begin to die off as the fungus continues to invade the tree. Tree maintenance and adequate pruning are key to disease management. Left without pruning, cankers on infected branches will continue to grow as the disease spreads.
Chemical treatment options are available for Diplodia blight, but are not effective against Cytospora canker. The best disease management plan for both diseases includes prevention and adequate management of symptomatic trees and dying limbs. As a licensed arborist, Eric can address all aspects of disease management from prevention to removal. Call or text Eric to schedule your free consultation today.