I have a White Pine that has a problem that I can't identify. There are small...

Asked October 18, 2014, 9:53 AM EDT

I have a White Pine that has a problem that I can't identify. There are small slivers of what looks to be wood around the base that are too small to be from a wood pecker. I assumed it was from a squirrel that built a nest near the top this spring. There has been an unusual amount of sap dribbling down the trunk this summer. Recently I noticed a large piece of bark missing from the trunk and found that a lot of the bark near this area is loose. I doubt that this tree will survive this but have other White Pines. Do you know what this is and any way to prevent it from spreading? Thanks, Jim Koktavy

Chisago County Minnesota white pine

1 Response

Hi Jim,
It can be difficult to diagnose tree problems without good photos, and often an on-site evaluation.You have presented a number of symptoms that are showing up on your white pine but have not said that you notice anything wrong with the needles. Frequently there are changes in the color or growth of the needles, or whole branches that accompany major diseases. These symptoms help us make a more definitive diagnosis.

It is possible that there is more than one thing going on but two of the most serious afflictions are While Pine Blister Rust, and White Pine Weevil. I am sending a couple of links that should help you either eliminate the possibility, or raise enough questions that would warrant an visit from a certified tree inspector:
\http://www.apsnet.org/edcenter/intropp/lessons/fungi/Basidiomycetes/Pages/WhitePine.aspx
http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/howtos/ht_white/white.htm

Some other possibilities for the damage you see on the bark include damage from rodents gnawing the bark, and, deer using the tree trunk to help shed the velvet from their antlers.

If these links don't help, we suggest contacting a certified arborist:
http://www.myminnesotawoods.umn.edu/2009/01/finding-tree-care-help-certified-arborists-and-mn-tree-c...

Thanks for contacting AaE. Please contact us again if you have further questions.