Four Things You Need To Know About Brown Spot Needle Blight

There are many fungal diseases that can ruin the look of your backyard pine trees, including brown spot needle blight. Here are four things you need to know about brown spot needle blight.

What are the signs of brown spot needle blight?

Usually, you'll notice the signs of this fungal disease during August or September. The needles around the bottom of your tree will turn brown, and if you look closely at the dead needles, you'll see black fruiting bodies. Fruiting bodies are reproductive structures that are created by fungi; the fruiting bodies release spores which will then infect other trees.

Can brown spot needle blight kill pines?

In cases of severe, prolonged infections, brown spot needle like can kill your pine trees. The infection starts at the bottom of the tree, and over time, the infection will work upwards and affect the rest of the tree. When many of the needles are impacted, the tree weakens, and it may die. Even older, stronger trees can be killed by this disease, so it's important to take action if you think your tree is infected.

How do pine trees get brown spot needle blight?

Pine trees get this fungal disease when spores from the fruiting bodies land on them and begin to grow. During wet weather, these spores can be carried by rainwater from tree to tree. You may also accidentally transfer the spores from tree to tree when you're shearing your trees. The spores can also stick to your clothes and then be transferred to new trees in that manner.

How can you control brown spot needle blight?

This fungal disease can be treated by spraying affected trees with fungicides. Before you spray with fungicides, have the needles sampled to make sure that brown spot needle blight is the problem. If the fungus isn't responsible for the disease, fungicides won't help, so this is why testing is important.

Fungus treatments need to be timed properly for best results. The best time to spray pine trees for brown spot needle blight is in May or June when the new needles have appeared, but are not yet fully grown. About three weeks later, you can repeat the treatment.

If your trees are large, it can be difficult to thoroughly spray them, so for long-term control, you should plant trees that are not prone to this disease. Try to choose a type of pine that has fewer disease problems than others, like white pines. Other types of evergreens, like white firs, are also disease-resistant.

If you think your pine trees have brown spot needle blight, contact a tree service like Able Scape, Inc.