Black sooty mold on conifers
I have black sooty mold on my scotch pine trimmed as a Hindo Pan planted next to the house. I know the mold can come from honeydue excreted from some critter, such as aphids in soybeans(I'm a retired farmer). How ever I can find no such critter on the tree nor any info online. The only anomaly I find is a lot of bees swirling the tree.
Dakota County Minnesota sooty mold
Aphids and mites can cause the honeydew and they are probably gone for this year. I haven't seen any aphids since mid July. They were very prevalent this year. A fungicide next spring and surveilance for aphids next year would be a good thing to do.