Pine trees are very popular in Kansas City, because they stay green all year long. However, your beautiful pine trees, hardy though they may be, are not immune to disease and infestation. Not only can diseases and infestation ruin your pine trees’ appearance; they can also become a major hazard and liability once those trees are weakened enough that they could topple, causing property damage and other dangers.
Common Kansas City pine tree diseases and insects
- Pine wilt: A worm called a nematode infests the pine tree thanks to the actions of the pinewood Sawyer beetle; nematodes and Sawyer beetles are incredibly destructive because they can quickly take over a tree. Once infected, the disease spreads very quickly and infected trees will need to be removed to save uninfected trees as soon as possible.
- Pine needle scale: Pine needle scale is caused by so-called scale bugs. With this infestation, pine needles become covered with oyster shaped scales that are pale in shade; infected trees look like they’re covered with frost. If left unchecked, pine needle scale can kill branches and even entire trees. To prevent infection, make sure pine trees have plenty of room to grow, don’t touch branches, and use horticultural sprays specific to pine needle scale to kill the infection. You can often save trees by using sterile pruning shears or other sterilized tools to remove affected branches. Burn affected branches or dispose of them in tightly closed garbage bags so that scale bugs can’t return. If you just remove infected branches and leave them on the ground, scale bugs will simply return to previously infected trees, and will move to new, previously uninfected trees, too.
- Pine beetle: This is one of the most destructive enemies to the pine tree. If you notice resin leaking from pine trees, it’s likely that you have this infestation. This happens because pitch tubes, or small, light, gummy tubes of resin in the tree, have been damaged by the beetle. Individual trees that have been impacted must be removed. If the infected pine tree is within a large stand of trees and other trees around it don’t appear to have been impacted, you may be able to remove the infected pine tree and save your other trees. Extreme temperature – either very high or very low – can kill the pine beetle, but this is not a guaranteed method of extermination, since this infestation spreads very fast.
- Treatment and prevention of pine tree diseases: The best way to prevent pine tree diseases is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Though you may not be able to save affected trees once infestation has occurred, removing them will ensure that your other trees stay healthy.
Contact A&E Tree for prompt, professional service at 913-200-3040 or visit our website at http://www.aetree.com. (Let us do the work for you and stay safe; don’t try to remove or prune trees yourself, as it can be dangerous.)