Mugo pines dying

mucknmire(zone6 NJ)July 21, 2005

I have a mugo pine with a 2 1/2 feet spread, turning yellow, brown and dying. A smaller one is completely dead. On closer inspection there's a whitish bloom where the needles attach to the stem. I thought the white 1/2" sheath surrounding each needle was the disease - a fungus but I noticed the sheath on healthy plants at a nursery so I was mistaken. I looked even more closely and noticed that there was definitely a whitish fluffy fungal like bloom on the dying needles at the base near the stem. Other pines are also affected like an Austrian pine and another unidentified pine near our fishpond. I googled pine disease fungal and it appears that the disease is fungal in nature. I've sprayed the affected plants and all the other pines we have in the yard with a sulfur spray. Apparently the humid weather we've had in the past week has caused this to happen. One website claimed that this was not fatal to well established trees but the mugo pines were 2-4 years in the ground so I question that comment. I hope the treatment works.

Please check your pines. I suspect that most of you have many plants like we do and it's easy to overlook even a dying one until it is too late. I've had worms eating the new mugo pine needles almost denuding the plant but I didn't realize pines could suffer a fungal attack.

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I was going to mention the worms, the bag worms. I was losing some evergreens to those worms. Now I pick them off periodically.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2005 at 6:52PM
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mucknmire(zone6 NJ)

Hi karen64,
It's definitely not bag worms, yuck. We had some on a redbud last year and the webs are nasty. I sprayed them with some detergent in water and they quickly died. In the spring we've had brown worms on the new candles on a couple of mugo pines and I used the same detergent water solution to kill them.

After spraying with the sulfur no other affected pine has died and seems to be ok although I still see the white covering on the base of the new growth. I wonder if it may be sap the tree produced to protect itself?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2005 at 8:11AM
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