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As most residents with a green thumb know, Virginia hosts a wide variety of tree species, including many variations of pine. However, pine trees are susceptible to needlecast, a fungal disease that lives up to its name by attacking trees’ needles. Needlecast spreads quickly among trees and can affect them for years at a time. Therefore, Virginia landowners must learn to recognize its symptoms and call a local tree service provider for help treating it. 

Timber Works Tree Care has the knowledge and skills to protect your trees from needlecast and other diseases. Indeed, landowners in the Stonebridge, VA, area trust our company with their tree maintenance. We also offer high-quality tree care services ranging from removal to trimming, land clearing, forestry mulching, stump grinding, and much more. Contact us at (540) 692-9606 or visit our website for a free project quote.

Below, we define needlecast and identify how to find and treat the disease:

What is Needlecast?

The term needlecast applies to a broad range of fungal diseases that can attack your trees and cause foliar discoloration and needle loss. Despite its unattractive effects, needlecast will not kill your trees. However, it does render them more susceptible to pests and other diseases. Furthermore, it reduces infected trees’ vigor—the ratio of annual wood growth on the stem per unit of leaf area.

Contact your local tree service if you notice your trees becoming discolored or bare. They have the tools and knowledge necessary to revive your struggling trees.

Affected Trees and Areas

Needlecast and related fungal diseases thrive in wet weather conditions, shaded environments, and areas where trees grow close to one another. Furthermore, trees affected by drought or poor planting are prime targets for these diseases to attack and spread.

Trees commonly affected by needlecast are:

  • Evergreens
  • Colarado Blue Spruces
  • White Spruces
  • Norway Spruces
  • Douglas Firs
  • Japanese Black Pines
  • Ponderosa Pines

Moreover, non-native and younger plants are especially vulnerable to fungal diseases. If your property has young trees, check them frequently for impeded growth patterns and discolored needles.

Common Signs

Needlecast’s primary symptoms are browning foliage and littered needles around the tree’s base, both of which occur as the infected tree weakens. The discoloration is not necessarily a uniform color change but a development of discolored blotches on the tree’s needles.

Moreover, you may notice small fungal fruiting structures on the infected needles. These structures contain spores that rampantly spread the disease. All the symptoms mentioned here typically occur by mid-summer and can affect a tree at any stage of its life.

Management & Prevention

Local Tree Service Stonebridge VA

Management and prevention of this fungal disease are of utmost importance, especially for young and vulnerable trees. One infected tree can spread the disease to its healthy neighbors and create a forest of infected trees. Nevertheless, you should rely on a professional to handle these steps.

A common form of needlecast treatment is a fungicide containing chlorothalonil, sprayed on affected trees. A routine application of this fungicide twice a year can help a tree return to health. However, trees with late-stage infections may require several years of treatment to return to health.

To prevent needlecast, avoid overcrowding your trees and have them pruned regularly. Frequent pruning boosts air circulation, light penetration, and proper disease prevention. Ensure infected needles and branches are cleared from your property to prevent them from infecting other trees.

Manage and Prevent Needlecast with Your Local Tree Service in Stonebridge, VA

As a local tree service, Timber Works Tree Care specializes in Virginia tree disease management and prevention. We have the tools and knowledge to handle everything from tree trimming to forestry mulching, tree removal, and more on your Stonebridge, VA, property. To request tree maintenance services, contact us at (540) 692-9606 or visit our website.

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