What’s Wrong With My Tree? Needle Blight

Needle Blight Is A Fungal Disease Of Pines

Needle blight affects pine trees and is a fungal disease caused by Mycosphaerella dearnessii. In the Midwest, it can affect the pine diseasesfollowing pines:

  • Mugo
  • Japanese black
  • Virginia
  • Eastern white pine
  • Scots pine

This form of needle blight can be confused with Dothistroma needle blight which is more commonly found on Austrian and ponderosa pines.

What Are The Symptoms Of Needle Blight?

Symptoms of needle blight is easy to spot thank to needles that turn brown or a burnt red-orange and then drop. This disease typically starts on the lower branches of trees before moving up the tree. Branches can look bare, other than tufts of needles.

Needle blight often starts in May and progress throughout the year.

Managing Needle Blight In Trees

To manage needle blight, dispose of infected needles and sanitize all gardening equipment after use to prevent its spread. Getting the trees inspected and pruned by an ISA-certified arborist will help increase air circulation to prevent the fostering of infection. When watering, avoid watering from above to prevent splashing and spreading the fungal spores.

Your ISA-certified arborist can inspect your tree for needle blight and if necessary, prescribe a fungicide.

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