Austrian Pine dying

Asked August 1, 2015, 12:46 PM EDT

i think our Austrian pine has black needle scale. I would like to save the tree. What should I do?

DeKalb County Illinois

1 Response

Thank you for your question to eXtension.

I have never heard of black needle scale of pines. I only found one reference to this insect, in a Nevada Extension newsletter; either this insect is unique to Nevada, or there was a misprint.

Pine needle scale, which can affect many pines, shows up as small, bright white, waxy bumps on the needles. These rarely kill the tree, but if the tree is already under stress, it can help finish it off faster.

It would help to get some pictures of your tree, to help identify the problem. You can attach pictures to this web page, or attach them to an email sent directly to me (my address below). I'd need pictures of the entire tree, closer in shots of the trunk and the entire branch, and close ups of the needles.

I'd also need more information: how old is this tree? when was it planted? When did you first start seeing a problem? What is your soil drainage like? Do you irrigate: and if so, how much and how often? Are there any other trees (pine or others) showing similar symptoms?