What Disease Is Killing Pine Trees in Colombia, MD?

At Affordable Tree Services, your team for professional tree care in Columbia, MD, we field a lot of questions. A common one is, “What disease is killing pine trees?” In this post, we answer that question. 

what disease is killing pine trees

Common Pine Tree Diseases

Some common diseases include the following.

Annosus Root Rot

You’ll notice stunted needle growth if your tree has this fungal disease. In addition, you’ll see fungal growth around the base of the trunk. The roots will soften into a white rot. 

It’s of particular concern when you cut a pine down. The stump is vulnerable to this type of rot, but any tree injuries leave the plant vulnerable. 

Cotton Root Rot

This fungal disease is difficult to control and moves quickly. It can also remain in the soil for many years, so you might consider removing or treating the soil. 

The needles will turn yellow or bronze. Three days later, they start to wilt, and the tree dies after this stage. This is why identifying diseases impacting pine trees is critical. With this type of rot, you have little time to act. 


This is one of the most common pine tree health threats and affects seedlings. It’s deadly, as it stops seedlings from breaking through the soil. When they do, the seedling can’t support itself and collapses. 

Your best option here is to take preventative measures by using soil from a reputable company. You can also buy saplings as the trees outgrow their susceptibility. 

Dothistroma Needle Blight

When people ask, “What disease is killing pine trees?” they are often referring to this one. While it doesn’t kill the plant outright, it defoliates it, which leaves it vulnerable to attack. Therefore, this disease raises pine tree pest and pathogen concerns. 

You’ll notice the needles changing color and falling off. This disease spreads quickly.

Fusiform Rust

This fungal disease requires a second host to reproduce properly. You should look out for bands of growth on two separate trees in your garden. These may appear on the trunk or branches. Watch the infected limbs as they’re likely to break. 

In the advanced stages, cankers may form, creating lesions.

Pine Wilt

This fatal disease is caused by the pine sawyer beetle. The bug carries a nematode, which then infects the tree. This disease requires hot summers to thrive. 

The needles first start to turn gray and then yellow. Finally, they take on a reddish-brown hue. At this stage, the tree has weeks or a few months to live. 

Recognizing Symptoms of Pine Tree Decline

It’s usually quite easy to see that your plant’s in trouble. You’ll see the needles:

  • Discolor
  • Malform
  • Drop

You should also look out for any abnormal growth. 

Call Us for Help Dealing With Pine Tree Mortality Issues

Now that you have a better idea of what disease is killing pine trees, it’s time to take action. Call us to help you deal with the infection and remove dead tree branches. Reach out to Affordable Tree Services at (301) 512-5531

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