Is this a Form of Needle Cast?

I’ve followed this forum for a while, but this is my first post to seek help with the only black pine I have. Would someone please identify what is happening to the needles? At first I thought it was some kind of fungus so I sprayed it with Daconil in spring and summer. Whatever it is is only affecting last year needles. The pictures were taken in June, and now in September, most of last year needles have turned yellow and fallen off, while the summer shoots that came out after decandling appear to be healthy. The top and middle of the tree are heavily affected, while the lowest branches are ok. . I am in Washington DC area. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

The old needles certainly show some kind of stress. It could be a cast, as you mention, and/or trouble with the roots due to poor soil. I can’t tell for sure what the problem was.

The new needles look so good (they look great!) I would hold off on treatment for now. I’d also be curious if others in your area have needles that exhibit similar symptoms. If so, the trees might be suffering the same thing. (DC area enthusiasts: is needle cast a significant problem for black pines?)

In the meantime, it’s about time to remove the old needles at which point the tree should look fantastic :slight_smile:

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Do you remove the old needles in the autumn jonas?

Thank you for your response, Jonas. The exact same thing happened last year too, so I bare-rooted the second half of the root ball in March of this year and used medium ClayKing with an added 30% pumice. It drained pretty well when watered. I’ll follow your advice and hold off on spraying until winter storage. Thanks again.

Good to know Benny, thanks. Hearing that you’ve been working on the roots makes me think the tree will be in better shape heading into next year. I’d pay attention to the new needles as they emerge and watch for any signs of the problem. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the tree!

Yes, in general, old needles are removed in fall. Will look to write more on the topic in the next month or two.

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