Pine shrub disease

Asked April 26, 2013, 12:15 AM EDT

Could you help me diagnose what is wrong with this pine shrub. I believe it may be a mugho. There are two shrubs, one on each side of the outside porch steps ( a sunny location). They were there when I moved into the house 4 years ago, and they are large and mature. I estimate that 20% of the branches on the one bush have turned brown. The other bush is healthy. Should I prune the brown branches, spray the bush? Can I do anything to save it? Thanks for any advice you can give me. Best, Carole Vail

Centre County Pennsylvania

1 Response

Ms Vail,We have tentatively identified your problem as pine needle scale. It is difficult to accurately identify the problem without seeing a sample of the branch. If at all possible could you bring a sample to the extension office in Bellefonte, 420 Holmes Ave, the old Willowbank building? Please review the attached Penn State website for more information on this problem.
The attached links will give you some recommendations about control of this problem. They recommend pruning and use of a dormant oil in early spring and fall and they also list other control methods for you to use.Again, please bring us a sample for identification. Feel free to either e-mail us at or call us at 814-355-4897 during hotline hours. Monday and Wednesday 9-12:00.