White Pine Disease

Asked June 3, 2016, 3:24 PM EDT

I am trying to diagnose a fatal disease (2 of my white pine) over the last 5 years. The symptoms were identical where I first notice a shrinking and collapse of the main trunk approximately 12" - 18" above the ground level and running about the same length up the trunk where it looks like it's "sucking in". Excessive white sap is produced at the impacted area. After a year or two of this symptom the tree suddenly dies (needles turn brown). Both trees were approximately 20' - 25' high and maybe 15 -20 years old. One I planted, the other was here when we moved in. I have planted over 100 pine and spruce on my 5 acres (Inver Grove Heights) some 20 years ago and most all are doing great 30 + feet tall, 6" dbh and I sure don't want to see any more fatalities. Any idea what it might be and if so, anything can be done about it? It does not look at all like pine blister rust, no cankers, no other symptoms, just the "shrinking" trunk. Thank You, Dave Schaffer 612-889-6586

Dakota County Minnesota

1 Response

White pine wilt is a potential problem. This disease will kill a tree in one season. See the following website for more information. http://hyg.ipm.illinois.edu/pastpest/200613a.html Blister rust is another disease of white pines. It is fairly easy to identify, because there will be cankers, sunken areas, on the trunk and/or branches. You may also see yellow-oranges spores. Pitch will flow from the cankers in spring. This website describes this disease. http://www.maine.gov/doc/mfs/dwhitep.htm.
If the entire trunk is shrinking it is possible that it is one big canker.