Browning at the top of piñon

Asked May 17, 2019, 3:37 PM EDT

The needles are dying on the tops of selected branches of 2 of our many piñon trees. I have had different diagnoses which don’t seem to fit. Piñon decline seems to best the description of what’s happening. We have had good moisture this winter in Santa Fe and I am resuming watering, but I can’t stop the progression of browning branches.

Santa Fe County New Mexico

1 Response

Unfortunately the drought stress of past years can show up even in a good year for water. It is also possible that if it is just a couple branches that those branches have a boring beetle. There are several insects that attack pinons unfortunately and some are hard to identify just from the symptoms. You could try taking photos to show to your local Extension office or have a certified arborist come and look at the trees.