Brown Spots And Broken Needles: Brown Spot Needle Blight

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Brown Spots And Broken Needles: Brown Spot Needle Blight

brown spots

There are few more stomach-dropping experiences as a tree owner than walking out one morning to discover brown spots on your plant.

In these moments, what truly pays, is being able to look at whatever offending spot you’re dealing with, identify it, and know how to treat it.

Join us, today, as we take a closer look at brown spot needle blight, an aggressive tree disease found in Florida and across the United States.

brown spots

Identification

The first concern tree care concern owners have is usually how to spot sickness in a tree.

For a disease as serious as Brown Spot Needle Blight, this can be especially urgent.  

As the name implies, the first sign of brown spot needle blight is yellow-to-brown spots, formed on the needles during the summer months. A good note when it comes to this is that the condition affects leaves of any size or age.

Beyond this, needle tips may die off, even while the base of the needle remains green with only a few yellow or brown spots. Needles may also present with small, black fungal spores which resemble pimples, pushing up from under the surface of the needle.

Needles which have been afflicted may also turn a reddish brown and fall off in the fall.

The infection itself is more likely to affect lower branches and younger trees and is more common in warmer, wetter weather.

Which Plants Are Most Likely To Suffer?

So you’re worried your tree’s come down with a brown spot needle blight infection, but you’re not sure. There are a few tree genuses which happen to be more susceptible to the illness, and it might help to know these before jumping to any conclusions.

  • longleaf pine
  • ponderosa pine, and
  • scots pine
  • Jackpine
  • mugo pine
  • Austrian pine
  • eastern white pine
  • red pine

These trees are even more susceptible to the disease in their younger years, especially while they are still saplings. Infections, while they are more common in younger trees, may occur on plants of all ages.

On A Biological Note

Brown spot needle blight fungus spends winter in diseased needles, either on the tree or out on the ground.

In spring, this disease comes to life, spreading by way of spores to nearby trees and fallen needle foliage. This is when most new infections occur. During the late summer months, blooms known as pycnidia form on infected needles and contribute to further spread of the disease.

How To Manage It

There are a few different methods of managing these infections, unwelcome as they might be. Before we get into any of them, we should mention many tree owners actually opt to live with this disease. This is provided the damage is not too severe. In these cases, it’s important to cut away the infected needles and branches, dispose of the needles, and monitor for any further spreading. Many trees live through these infections, provided they’re controlled early on.

Don’t prune infected or endangered plants during wet weather, but don’t neglect to prune either. The added circulation will help the leaves to dry out and heal from their infection. Also, avoid overhead watering systems, and make sure to remove dead needles from trees and the ground nearby, to help stem the spread of the disease.

Apply chlorothalonil in spring to treat infections, and use copper-based fungicides.

Protect Against Brown Spots, With Tree Worx

As a tree owner, the condition of your plants should mean a lot to you.
Interested in learning more about Brown Spot Needle Blight, as well a host of other dangerous tree conditions? Get in touch with Tree Worx, Florida, and start taking better care of your tree, today.

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