Problem with Austrian Pine
I have an Austrian pine where the tips are breaking off in spring and fall. I had them sprayed in or about June due to needles turning brown. Shortly thereafter the tree and needles showed noticeable improvement. However the tips are beginning to break off again. Please help.
Several insects and diseases have caused the decline of many Austrian pines in the landscape. The worm-like larvae of European pine shoot and Zimmerman moths feed inside the branches and trunk of the trees.
The European pine shoot moth damage often causes the tips to brown and crooked trunks develop from long term feeding damage.
The Zimmerman moth can also cause tips of young trees to brown and they often curl like a fish hook. Plus you will notice clumps of hardened sap on infected stems and trunks.
Sphaeropsis shoot blight and Dothistroma needlecast cause needles to discolor and die. Timing and good coverage is critical for successful spray treatments. Consider contacting a certified arborist if you plan on treating. They have the equipment and training to do the job safely.
Or start growing a replacement for the struggling Austrian pines. Plant a more pest resistant tree to fill the void left when you decide to remove this tree. In the meantime improve your tree’s health and beauty by watering thoroughly whenever the top few inches of soil is crumbly and moist. Spread a 2 to 3 inch layer of shredded bark or woodchip mulch over the soil surface surrounding the tree to conserve moisture, moderate soil temperature and suppress weeds that can compete with the tree for water and nutrients.