Pine Tree Shoot Die Off
I have a young pine tree (may be a fur), about 5 years old, that has been healthy until this year when the shoots from the top town have been turning brown and dieing. No herbicides have been sprayed in the area. I can see white residue on the branches and leader but nothing on the needles. See the pictures. Any idea of the cause and a remedy? Thank you, Bill
Dieback of the terminal shoot like this could be caused by feeding damage from white pine weevils or pine shoot moths. There are some diseases that can also cause tip blight. https://extension.umd.edu//sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG54_IPM...
Prune out the affected terminal branch and split it open to see if there are any signs of larvae (white grub-like insects or their tunnels). If signs of insects are present, this will rule out a disease.
Once you cut out the leader of the tree, you can train a branch to be a new leader. The following page from the Virginia Cooperative Extension has information on how to train a replacement leader: https://pubs.ext.vt.edu/430/430-456/430-456.html