Pines in Decline?

Signs and Symptoms of Decline

Calls are coming into Tree Shepherds regarding Pines that are losing limbs and large portions of their crowns with some Pine tree death occurring. Our certified arborists are seeing the following symptoms of decline on Pines customers’ properties:

  1. Dead larger limbs that are in the upper crown
  2. Top of the tree is dying back
  3. Loose bark on the main trunk
Dying pine with dead limbs in the upper crown.
Dying pine from bark beetle attack.

Bark Beetle: The Culprit

The culprit appears to be bark beetle borers that are attacking these trees. The Pines were hit fairly hard by the deep freeze of February 2021. This has probably pre-disposed the trees to attacks by bark beetles.

Loblolly and Slash Pines

Both Loblolly and Slash pines (tall, straight pines) are susceptible to bark beetles. However, the Slash Pines seem to be showing signs of greater decline.

Pine in decline with bark that has fallen off the tree trunk.
Close up of loose bark on the main trunk.
Loose bark showing the beetle galleries.

What Can You Do?

If you see any symptoms of decline in your Pine trees, please contact us for an Arborist diagnosis, prognosis, and prescription. If in the early stages, a tree under attack can possibly be saved.

Please note that if you have multiple Pines, the beetle will spread from one tree to the next, so prevention is a key element in saving your pine trees.

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Scott Geer

Scott Geer has a Masters Degree in Forestry from Stephen F. Austin State University and is a Board Certified Master Arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture and a graduate of the American Society of Consulting Arborists Academy.