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Scotch Pine is in danger… What’s the next step?

by | Mar 17, 2010 | Resources, Market News, Ask Pahl's Market, Caring for your Plants

Please help! My husband and I live on about an acre of land. It is surrounded on three sides (double row) with scotch pine. They are close together and provide a fabulous wind block. The problem is one (only one at this time) is wilted,brown, and the sap is thick and white at the base. Any help you can give us will be greatly appreciated! We are looking forward to shopping you this spring!! Thank you!

Jane

Dear Jane,

Your concern over your dying scotch pine is well warranted. In my research I have discovered a possible cause, though no solution to your problem. I have to suggest you contact an arborist or your local forestry department as soon as possible. I think your scotch pines may be dying of Pine Wilt caused by the pinewood nematode. The pinewood nematode is carried from tree to tree by pine sawyer beetles. The nematodes are the cause of the wilt, they basically block the flow of sap to the tree and without the water and nutrients needed, the tree dies. If your trees are infected with the pine sawyer beetles you will soon have more scotch pines dying. I urge you to contact a licensed
arborist who should be able to diagnose the problem and suggest solutions. If you would like more information on Pine Wilt- which is found throughout the Midwest, affecting many non-native pines like Scotch and Austrian pines- you can check out the University of Iowa extensions pamphlet on Pine Wilt. You can download it at
www.extension.iastate.edu/Publications/SUL9.pdf. I hope that I am wrong about the pine wilt and that your scotch pine is suffering from some overzealous rodent girdling your tree, but given the circumstances, I think having an expert opinion is crucial.

Thanks for your question, Dee

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