Pine tree debarking

Asked March 17, 2016, 5:54 PM EDT

What is wrong with the pine tree? It has a red powder on the main trunk and into some branches. The bark and needles are coming off on the areas where this red/rust substance is. Could this be damage from the blizzard in Feb?

Furnas County Nebraska

2 Responses

I'm not sure what this would be. I am not aware of pine diseases that would cause a red/rust substance on the bark. And it does not sound like either of our common pine blights (Diplodia or Dothistroma) which would cause needle browning, but not what you describe. It's possible, if the February storm caused some branch breakage, that the pine is oozing sap from those cracks and a secondary fungus is growing on the sap. This fungus would not harm the pine. I suggest you send a good quality picture to send to eXtension Ask an Expert, or take a picture and sample to your local Extension office. A sample could then be sent to the UNL Plant Diagnostic Clinic. It would also be helpful to know what type of pine it is. Scotch, Ponderosa, Austrian............? Thanks for using eXtension.

A sample would help determine if it is some type of rust disease, such as White Pine Blister Rust. See link below. Or needle rust (Coleosporium asterum.