Pine trees are an excellent addition to any yard. These beauties can be found just about anywhere North of the Equator, in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s hardiness zones 3-11. As evergreen conifers, pine trees retain their beautiful green color year-round and come in a variety of sizes ranging from four foot dwarf varieties to gigantic 100foot white pines! They are excellent wind breakers and offer yard privacy for gardens and homes. If you are searching for a low maintenance, drought tolerant tree with a long lifespan, then a pine tree may just be the right choice for you! They require very little-to-no maintenance and most don’t even require pruning. Just ensure the tree gets full sun and a good low-release fertilizer and your tree will take care of you for many years to come. It’s very likely these trees will even outlive you! Pines are long lived trees, their lifespans range anywhere from 25 to 1,000 years! The oldest living pine tree today has been rightfully named “Methuselah” and is a Great Basin Bristlecone. It is believed to be about 4,600 years old!
What is Killing My Pine Trees?
Peeling tree bark– This is a tell-tale sign of a sick pine tree. A healthy pine tree should retain the majority of its bark through all four seasons. If the tree is sick, you can identify it by large areas of peeling park. If you find small areas where the bark is peeling, check for signs that a bird such as a woodpecker is not the cause. If this is the case, small affected areas are not a cause for alarm.
Brown, dry needles– “Needle Blight” Dothistroma Pini is a fungus that affects pine trees by turning its needles brown, followed by them falling off eventually. At first, dark green bands will form on the needles. Then they will change in color to a reddish-brown at the base of the needle and the tips will be yellow, followed by them browning completely and eventually balding around the bottom half of the tree until the disease spreads and affects the rest of the tree. This fungus can be treated with a copper fungicide that gets applied 1-2 times annually. If left untreated, the pine will die within a few years.
How Pine Beetle Infestations Damage Pines
Beetles are a major enemy to pine trees. There are several different types of beetles that are known to frequent Georgia. One being the Southern Pine Beetle. These voracious insects can clear out mile-long stretches of pine trees in forests in a very short amount of time. They are found every year in the South from Texas to Virginia and have proven difficult to control. They are not just a threat to our forests, but to our homes as well. They make their way into suburbs across the South and wreak havoc on Southern yards. Adult pine beetles are about the size of a grain of rice and are a reddish-brown color to black.
Signs of Pine Beetle Infestation
The first indicator you have a Southern Pine Beetle infestation on your hands is identified by looking at the trunk of the affected tree. There you may find popcorn-size lumps called pitch tubes. These can start just a few feet from the base of the tree and stretch up to about 60 feet high. During a drought, these lumps may not appear, but you may see red boring dust collected inside the trunk or at the base of the tree. If you see pitch tubes at the base of your tree, then a turpentine beetle is likely to blame and not the Southern Pine Beetle. After the beetles have established themselves in a tree, you can peel back the bark and if you see S shaped feeding cuts on the inside of the trunk. In the latter stages of a Southern Pine Beetle attack, the needles on the tree will begin to fade from green, to yellow and finally brown. Loblolly, Short Leaf and Virginia Pines are most susceptible to Southern Pine Beetle attacks.
Emergency Tree Removal & More in McDonough, Jackson, Jonesboro, Fayetteville, Hampton, Sunny Side GA | Fayette, Clayton & Henry Counties, Georgia
If you have a dead tree on your property, it is important to have it removed right away because it is a safety hazard. Every year, nearly 100 people die from fallen trees. Call Milam Tree Services today to remove dead trees or offer advice on whether your tree can be saved before it dies.