Pine trees are susceptible to a variety of fungi species, including blight and several types of rust fungi. Many fungi species can cause cankers to form on the branches or trunk, stunted growth or damaged needles. To treat infected trees, run through the following steps.
At the first sign of infection, cut off the damaged limbs. If possible, prune away all infected branches and twigs. This keeps the infection from spreading to the entire tree. Rub the pruners with rubbing alcohol after cutting off each limb to avoid spreading spores around the tree.
In the spring, spray a fungicide on the branches just as the buds for new needles start to appear. Keep spraying as the new needles grow. Fungicide tends to be more effective during this time period.
Avoid applying high-nitrogen fertilizers to the soil, as this feeds the fungus as well as the tree.
Gardeners can avoid damage to pine trees by planting new seedlings far away from existing pines as this reduces the risk of spreading infection from older trees to newer trees, which are more susceptible to fungi. They should also give trees plenty of space as this allows air to circulate around the branches.Learn more about Trees & Bushes