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Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > What's wrong with my plant? > Evergreen Trees and Shrubs > Pine > Older, inner needles discolored

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Pine > Needles > Older, inner needles discolored

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  • Seasonal needle drop 1
  • Seasonal needle drop 2
  • Seasonal needle drop 3

Seasonal needle drop

  • Older, inner needles turn completely yellow without any spots
  • Needles drop, usually in fall
  • Lost needles may be two years old or more, depending on species
  • All pines in Minnesota, but most noticeable on white pine
  • More information on Seasonal needle drop
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  • Dothistroma needle blight 1
  • Dothistroma needle blight 2
  • Dothistroma needle blight 3

Dothistroma needle blight
Mycosphaerella pini

  • Tan to brown spots on 1 yr. or older needles turn red in the sun
  • Needle tips are tan, bases remain green, scattered with brown or red spots
  • Tiny, raised, black pimple-like fungal spore producing structures form on dead needle tissue
  • Diseased needles turn completely brown and eventually drop
  • Lower portions of tree are most severely affected
  • Most common on Austrian and ponderosa pine; Scots pine has some resistance
  • Lab analysis is often necessary to distinguish Dothistroma needle blight from Brown spot
  • More information on Dothistroma needle blight
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  • Brown spot needle blight 1
  • Brown spot needle blight 2
  • Brown spot needle blight 3

Brown spot needle blight
Mycosphaerella dearnessii

  • Small yellow to brown, resin-soaked spots form on 1 yr old needles in June-Aug
  • Often needle tip is killed and turns tan, base of needle remains green with random yellow to brown spots
  • Tiny, raised, black pimple-like fungal spore producing structures form on dead needle tissue
  • Diseased needles fall off in autumn
  • Infections are most common on lower branches
  • Outbreaks favored by prolonged wet weather in June and July
  • Scots pine most commonly infected; many Minnesota pines are susceptible
  • Lab analysis is often necessary to distinguish Brown spot from Dothistroma needle blight
  • More information on brown spot needle blight
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  • Lophodermium needle cast 1
  • Lophodermium needle cast 2
  • Lophodermium needle cast 3

Lophodermium needle cast
Lophodermium seditiosum

  • Yellow to brown spots appear in late summer or early fall
  • 1 yr old needles turn brown in spring
  • Gray to black ovals with a slit down the center (fungal spore producing structures) can be seen on dead needles
  • Infected needles drop prematurely during the summer
  • Lower branches and small trees most severely effected
  • Common on red, Austrian and Scots pine
  • More information on Lophodermium needle cast

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