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Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > What's wrong with my plant? > Evergreen Trees and Shrubs > Pine > Wilted shoots

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Pine > Shoots/Branch Tips > Wilted shoots

1 of 7
  • White pine weevil 1
  • White pine weevil 2
  • White pine weevil 3

White pine weevil
Pissodes strobi

  • Terminal leader dead or dying, curled into a shepherd's crook
  • Branches in whorls near the top may also wilt and die
  • Repeated attacks can leave trees looking bushy
  • Drops of sap from feeding wounds on terminal shoots in early spring
  • Prefers Eastern white pine but will also infest jack pine and Norway and blue spruce
  • Small, ¼ inch long, white, grub-like larvae feed under bark from June to August
  • Adult weevils ¼ inch long, dark with tan and white mottling; has conspicuous snout
  • More information on White pine weevil
2 of 7
  • Eastern pine shoot borer 1
  • Eastern pine shoot borer 2

Eastern pine shoot borer
Eucosma gloriola

  • Wilted or drooping shoots form a shepherd's crook which often break off
  • Needles beyond feeding sites first turn yellow then reddish-brown
  • Needles may drop prematurely
  • Larva is off-white with dark head and grows to about ½ inch long
  • Small, oval exit hole may be seen below dying shoot
  • Prefers white and Scots pine
  • More information on Eastern pine shoot borer
3 of 7
  • Frost injury 1
  • Frost injury 2
  • Frost injury 3

Frost injury

  • New shoots fall over and wilt after a spring frost
  • Older branches remain green and healthy
  • Dead shoots may remain attached all summer, new shoots may grow next to them
  • More information on Frost injury
4 of 7
  • Sirococcus shoot blight 1
  • Sirococcus shoot blight 2
  • Sirococcus shoot blight 3

Sirococcus shoot blight
Sirococcus conigenus

  • Needles turn brown, wilt and droop
  • Young shoots wilt and curl into a shepherd's crook
  • Brown to black raised bumps can be seen on wilted needles and on shoots at the base of the needle in the fall or spring following the appearance of symptoms
  • Older needles remain unaffected
  • Common in cool, wet summers
  • Infection often starts in the lower branches and moves up
  • Common on red, jack and Scots pine; Austrian and eastern white pine are resistant
  • Also infects spruce, fir and larch
  • More information on Sirococcus shoot blight
5 of 7
  • Northern pitch twig moth 1
  • Northern pitch twig moth 2
  • Northern pitch twig moth 3

Northern pitch twig moth
Retinia albicapitana

  • Round, blister-like nodule less than 1 inch in diameter on twigs or small branch crotches
  • Flagging, even dead or deformed branches, twig breakage can occur
  • Most common on jack and Scots pine
  • More information on Northern pitch twig moth
6 of 7
  • Pine shoot beetle 1
  • Pine shoot beetle 2
  • Pine shoot beetle 3

Pine shoot beetle
Tomicus piniperda

  • Dying, dead and broken shoots, particularly in the top half of the tree
  • Adults tunnel into shoots which turn yellow to reddish-brown
  • Attacks most pine species where cut stumps or logs are present
  • Adults are shiny, black and about the size of a match head
  • Larvae are white with a brown head and about ¼ inch long
  • More information on Pine shoot beetle
7 of 7
  • Growth regulator herbicide damage 1
  • Growth regulator herbicide damage 2
  • Growth regulator herbicide damage 3

Growth regulator herbicide damage
(e.g. 2,4D or MCPP)

  • Shoots may wilt or curl
  • Needles stunted, twisted or misshapen but remain green
  • If damage is severe, needles turn brown and fall off, branches may die
  • Symptoms occur a few days to several weeks after herbicide application
  • Dead or dying weeds expressing similar symptoms may be present nearby
  • More information on Growth regulator herbicide damage

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