This insect pest attacks all pines but is generally more serious on Scotch and Austrian pines. It rarely infests spruce or Douglas-fir.

 The larvae of the pine moth bore into the main trunk and large branches of pines. Occasionally, the terminal leader of the tree will be killed.

The most common symptom is the appearance of heavy pitch or sap flow along the main trunk or large branches. This flow often originates from the area around branch whorls or on shoots near the terminal leader.

The tops of trees may break off and patches of dead foliage where branches die in the canopy will become apparent. Large, globular pitch masses often mixed with reddish frass may also be present on the main stem or on large branches.

 During the first two weeks of April, apply an insecticide labeled for Zimmerman pine moth onto the main trunk and larger branches of the tree. Early application and good coverage of stems and branches with the spray are essential for effective control.  

Note: We have provided some general information and observations on this topic aimed at the home gardener. Before you take any serious action in your landscape, check with your state's land grant university's Cooperative Extension Service for the most current, appropriate, localized recommendations.

 

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