Tips of my mugo pine

Asked September 15, 2017, 10:50 AM EDT

is the white on all my tannenbaum mugo pine buds?

Rice County Minnesota

2 Responses

I cannot see the bud very well in the photo.You could have a variety of white pine called "white bud". In this case every buds would look like this and the white is normal. And if you are not seeing any signs of needle browning that is likely the case. If you are seeing signs of browning/die off, then it is most likely Pine tip blight disease is caused by the fungus Diplodia pinea, formerly known as Sphaeropsis sapinea. Tip blight symptoms appear as new shoots (candles) are developing and elongating in spring. Infected needles and shoots stop growing and turn brown. The stunted and brown needles and shoots become very conspicuous in summer compared to healthy shoots. Tip blight disease usually starts on lower branches and works its way upward in well-established trees about 10 or 15 years old. As infection proceeds into older tissue, additional needles and branches are killed. The fungus produces tiny, black fruiting bodies (pycnidia), which may be observed with a hand lens, at the base of infected needles just under the needle sheath. In advanced cases, infected branches may develop resin-soaked cankers. In the tree and on the ground, old infected cone scales are peppered with pycnidia and are potential sources of fungal inoculum. There are indications that the causal fungus already exists in a latent form in healthy-appearing trees and branches and only needs an opportunity to become pathogenic. Stressful growing conditions such as drought and shade favor tip blight disease in pines. Tip blight is especially damaging to Austrian and Scots pines, but can also infect white pine, red pine, Virginia pine, and even other conifers such as spruce. The white you are seeing appears to be a resinous canker associated with disease. To manage tip blight, prune out and destroy infected twigs, branches, and cones. Provide favorable growing conditions for the tree to reduce stress. Fungicide applications made in early spring at bud break and while candles are elongating may slow disease development. See: There are other needle diseases that affect mungo pines. You might check the symptoms of each against what you are seeing.

Another expert responded: I think the photo shows a typical and normal (for this time of year) mugo pine terminal bud. Similar looking bud on an Austrian pine.