Pine tree problem #415696 - Ask Extension


Pine tree problem #415696

Asked July 20, 2017, 3:50 PM EDT

I have three very large Pine trees in my front yard - all with varying degrees of the same problem (disease or infestation?) I have attached pictures (if these are clear enough to help identify what is going on.) Any advice you can give or any referral you can make would be greatly appreciated!

Oakland County Michigan

Expert Response


The pictures are dark, even when I enlarge them, so it is difficult to see needles and stem clearly. It appears you have a fir or spruce tree. 

There are a number of pests, leaf blights and cankers that affect conifers (plants  that produce cones), especially as trees age.  If you want an exact diagnosis, which you would need to determine if the tree can be effectively treated in any way, there are a couple options.

First, you may submit sample branches that show still live and green needles, and include diseased  and dead needles on them. A totally dead branch can not give a dependable diagnosis. Samples can be submitted to MSU Diagnostic lab. The fee is about $20. Forms, fee schedule, and instructions are here---

Second, you may contact a certified arborist to come out and give a complete assessment of the trees, including a tree health care and treatment plan, if the trees are salvageable. Call a couple to get estimates. I understand this is a modestly priced service, especially when considering the value of your trees. You want an arborist, not just a tree service.

Search for them in your phone book or by zip code here---

If you are interested, here are references for you. As you will see, there are many possible diseases and insect pests on spruces. Firs tend to be more hardy but can have many of the same problems when stressed.

First- this shows how to tell pines, firs, and spruces apart---

Next, the most common spruce problems---

And some common insects---

I hope this information is of some help. Thank you.

Laura Sheffer Replied July 20, 2017, 6:25 PM EDT

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