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Dying Ponderosa pines--help

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I've been trying to deal with this all summer with no success. Many of my pines are having the needles die off, turning redish brown. Fianally got the local small town garden center to take a look. They said it was a Pine shoot moth I believe, they found cocoons at the tip of some of the needles. They also mentioned that the trees were planted too close together and got stressed. I am supposed to cut all of the cocoons and larvae out and spray every four weeks or so. Or it could be chainsaw tim!!!! Does anyone know anything about this!!!!! I'm in extreme south central Mn--right off of I 90. thanks for the help.

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Hey Huskie,

I posted something similar a few weeks back, although I don't think our problem is a moth. I researched some things based on what I was finding and am 99% sure that we have Bark Beetles. They target pines that are stressed, dying or dead, burrow into them and chew them up, lay larvae etc. Look around the trees, especially the base on the ground. Are there any shavings? That's what we have.

Preventative measures include "thinning the herd" so that the trees aren't competing so much and become stressed. They recommend about 3-4 trees per acre, but that seems a little low to me. I guess it depends on your own situation. My research found that you can cut the affected trees down, but that you have to dispose of them within three weeks (burn or chip) or you'll just make the problem worse.

I'm planning on taking the affected trees down over the Winter while they are hibernating inside the trees and burn them. Hopefully this will help come Spring. Don't know if this will help you, but the solutions may be similar.

Do a search for your problem. There is a lot of into from Arborists and DNR from across the country.

Hope this helps.

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Thanks for the reply. I did do some addition research and I think the local nursery guy is right. The problem seems to be the European pine shoot moth. He showed me some of the critters and gave me some ideas. I think i will try to thin them out at least and spray them--worth a try, otherwise it appears that all 18 will need to be cut down, not good!!!!

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