Pinus nigra 'Frank' --whats wrong with it

ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5December 3, 2011

the thing looks horrible ... s/b shovel pruned ...

care to speculate on the problem.. gee tree.. may 2005 .. no clue what the root stock is .. from a one gal 2nd year graft ... most likely ... not root pruned anally at planting.. only death will answer that issue ...

i am wondering ... COULD GRAFT FAILURE BE AN ISSUE ... obviously its alive .. sorta .. lol .. but are there intermediate graft issues... or is it either a good graft or a bad graft???

this one has actually looked so bad.. for so long ... that i have almost pulled it out multiple times ...

could it be used for scion .. or might there also be a disease involved???

and please dont suggest it is supposed to look like this.. lol ..

anyone have a good pic???


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coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

Ken, it seems that you've some problems with the Pinus nigra cultivars in your garden.
Is there some kind of insect who's attacking them, several times I red that Pinus nigra isn't doing well at every location in the U.S.
The growth from this year looks fine and it's new buds look healthy.
Also it isn't a graft failure and the right understock was used...

    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 4:24AM
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Looks like one of those fungal needlecast diseases.

To be frank (sorry, couldn't resist!), I'd get rid of it.


    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 6:33AM
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To be frank

Ooh Betty

(I'm sorry)

    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 6:40AM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

Collectors sure endure some ugly oddities!
I wouldn't even consider it for my garden.
But then, I'm not a collector. My goal is to have a nice looking garden with variety, not a nice looking collection at the expense of design. Combining the two is a real challenge. You don't want your collection to look like randomly placed nick-knacks on a shelf.
Being aware of relative scale makes it easier. Paying attention to scale is real important. Just ask a model railroader. They stick to one scale. A well designed garden has a blended, graduated scale. The focus is on the look of the general appearance of the garden, rather than looking at a collection of individuals.

Ken, I knew you had a lot of different conifers, but I had no idea you had so many.....and you have room for more!

If you can find out what's wrong with 'Frank' he might be worth keeping. Might is the key word here. I just finished cutting down a 35 ft. tree that was sold to me years ago as a Korean Fir. (It's not) I bought two. The first one got buck rubbed by an Elk. They do a lot more damage than a little deer. The damage was a little higher than 10 ft, almost 4 meters! After a few years I removed it as it was clear it would never recover enough to be presentable. The other one, planted behind the first, did fine until about three years ago. Then it started looking ratty. I looked for obvious signs of insect damage, but could find none. It began to look worse and worse. I turned it into firewood yesterday.
Maybe 'Frank' should have the same fate.

Mike...Korean Firless in Seattle.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 8:52AM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)


I would not give up yet. If it were mine, I would try the Bayer Tree and Shrub product next spring. It is very easy to use, mix per directions and pour around the base of your tree. That looks like it could really be a beautiful looking tree if you could get rid of the pests or disease. Think of the YEARS you have into that tree man!

Have you tried any products on the tree at all?

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 9:10PM
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dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

Pinus nigra are susceptible to PWN. I don't think it thrives that far north and Ken's does not have this problem.

This disease had killed about 90% here an Kansas City and the other 10% are on the way out.

Ken's plant seems to have recovered with last years growth intact with new growth set to push next spring. I wouldn't treat it with anything.

If mine a shovel cut could be in its future. Ken likes the weird, and it will be weird. My guess is he will leave it for a time and see what transpires.

I tried 'Frank' several years ago. It was not a good performer and it was replaced in good faith. The second one behaved like the first one.No diseases or root problems detected.. Who knows...I just moved on.


    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 6:31AM
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'Frank' is most likely afflicted with Dothistroma needle blight. It affects a large amount of Austrian pines where I'm at here in Omaha, NE. Dothistroma doesn't really touch Scots Pine but those are pretty much reserved for Pine Wilt.


    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 2:00PM
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