I have a ~5 year old JBP I repotted this winter. It’s had a rough year, was moved twice, and my friend dropped the pot on the ground. It’s had a few blank/white places on the needles of the lower branches for most of this year, but I didn’t worry about it too much since it seemed to only affect old needles and not be spreading. After the heat wave last month the white patches seem to have spread. There’s no substance on the needles, just blank sections where the chlorophyll seems to have been removed. The wise folks at BSSF said “thrips” though beating the branches doesn’t get you any bugs, I’ve been treating weekly with insecticidal soap and it seems to have stopped spreading. I’m going to continue hitting it with the soap occasionally just in case (I see a lot of people have problems when they stop treatment too early) but I’m curious if anyone has seen this before or knows the cause?
Interesting, I don’t know that I’ve seen damage that looks like this. It could be damage from a rasping or sucking insect like thrips, so using soap regularly could be a good option.
If you have other pines, I’d expect to see damage there too, otherwise I’d wonder what’s different about this pine other than the “rough year” experience you noted.
Just to update: the tree wasn’t decandled or pruned this year but the sacrifice showed a second flush of growth this summer, so the overall vigor of the tree still seems to be good despite the foliage damage. I pruned back all the side shoots on the sacrifice branch to redirect energy to the damaged branches, and the lower branches are now all budding out. Hopefully the tree continues to recover.