GLT's Grow: White Pine Threat | WGLT

GLT's Grow: White Pine Threat

Aug 4, 2017

White pines in America are vulnerable to several diseases.

  • White pine blister rust joins pine wilt and white pine decline in posing a threat to the lovely white pine tree.
  • So far, white pine blister rust seems to be mostly in the northeast—upstate New York up to Maine—but there's always a chance it could spread.
  • Occasionally, gardeners might spot white pine decline on their trees and mistake it for blister rust, but they are different diseases.
  • High elevation white pines are most at threat to blister rust. Swellings, cankers and blisters appear on the branches. Needle drop swiftly follows. Pruning infected branches is a must to stop the spread.
  • Do not burn or recycle the trimmed wood in any way.
  • Not-so-fun fact: The host plants for white pine blister rust are gooseberry and currant.
  • If you plant a white pine, know that they like to grow in acidic soil in an understory place in your yard. Blazing sun is a no-no. White pine decline can impact trees if the acidity in the soil is incorrect. 4.5-6.0 should do the trick.
  • White pine decline is root related, so you won't spot it at first, but needle browning will occur when the tree is infected. You might want to remove the tree to stop the problem from spreading.
  • Pine wilt will kill a tree in one season. The pathogen is the pinewood nematode.

GLT's Grow is your source for sage gardening advice and down-to-earth tips. Host Patrick Murphy and co-host Laura Kennedy are ready to take on all your gardening questions, so submit yours today.

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