Pine Wilt Prevention

on 02 February 2014


Pine wilt is a disease of pine caused by the pinewood nematode,  The pinewood nematode is native to North America and mainly affects the Scots and some other pine varieties. 


How does Pine wilt affect pines?

Once symptons appear, Pine Wilt typically kills trees quickly, within a few weeks to a few months.  Pine needles turn grayish green, then tan, then brown, often affecting and scattered branches before spreading to the rest of the tree.  The tree can also turn brown all at once.  There is nothing you can do to save a tree that has already been affected by Pine Wilt.

Where is this problem most prevalent?

The Pine Wilt problem has expanded across the Central U.S.  The effects of Pine Wilt have been discovered as far west as Colorado and as far east as Pennsylvania.

How do trees become affected by Pine Wilt?

Pine sawyer beetles carry pinewood nematodes, a microscopic worm.  When the beetles feed on the soft new growth of Scots or other pines, the nematodes leave the beetles and enter the tree through feeding wounds.  The nematodes feed and rapidly multiply in the resin canals of the tree, destroying the tree's vascular system, resulting in tree death due to severe dehydration.

If a tree has Pine Wilt, what should be done to prevent it from spreading to other trees?

Dying or dead trees should be removed and the wood chipped to prevent the spread of the nematodes to other trees.  Cut trees should not be stored for firewood as beetles may emerge restarting the cycle on healthy trees.  Symptomless trees near affected trees can be treated to enhance likelihood of survival.

How can Pine Wilt be prevented?

Jones Tree Farms can apply an application an injection of insecticide directly to the trees vascular system that will provide three-year protection against this devastating disease.

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