Month: June 2024

Make an Attack Plan for Pine Tree Damage

Have insects infested your pines and caused tree damage? Unfortunately, homeowners have more to worry about with pine trees than just pesky insects. Pine trees are also vulnerable to storm damage, fungi and diseases.

If your pines aren’t healthy, it’s time to learn more and create an attack plan of your own.

Pine Trees 101

Standing tall amongst other trees, the genus, Pinus, has 115 species. All seven pine trees native to Florida grow well in USDA Planting Zone 9A, but the slash pine, longleaf pine, sand pine and loblolly pine are the most common in North Florida.
Whether the pines are used for paper, industrial chemicals, lumber or other products, pine trees have long been recognized as having a strong commercial value. Beyond the economic value, however, pines also have benefits to wildlife, serving as food and shelter for many species of mammals, birds and insects.

What Causes Damage to Florida Pines?

According to the University of Florida IFAS Extension, bark beetles are among the most common causes of pine death in Florida, but there can be other sources.

The height of pine trees makes them more susceptible to lightning strikes and storm damage, which are common with thunderstorms, tornados and hurricanes. Flooding, standing water and wildfires can create additional issues. Fungi and diseases can cause root rot, needle blight, rust, wilting and canker.

What Can Be Done to Prevent Tree Damage?

Before we consider what to do once a pine tree is showing signs of damage, let’s consider how to prevent the problem in the first place. The United States Forest Service recommends:

  • Avoid planting new invasive ornamental plants on your property and properly remove any that are already in place.
  • After hiking or fishing, clean your clothing, vehicle, boat, equipment and animals to prevent the spread of invasive species from other areas.
  • Do not store firewood outside if it was collected from a different property.
  • Properly dispose of live bait, plants and seeds.
  • Carefully choose your livestock hay and feed.

What Are the First Steps for Creating an Attack Plan?

When you first notice tree damage, it’s important to determine the cause to create an attack plan.

Examine needle loss and color changes. Check if there is sawdust or resin on the tree trunk. Note if there are visible insects. Does the tree bark have holes?

Are there tunnels under the bark? Is the wood under the bark yellow, wet, and healthy? It can also be important to note when the attack began since some insect attacks are seasonal.

you are struggling with pine tree damage, it may be time to consult a certified arborist. Arborists are highly trained professionals who are skilled in the art and science of planting, caring for and maintaining individual trees. In fact, they specialize in diagnosing problems and recommending treatments for tree damage.

Take photos and gather as much information as you can before contacting a professional. It’s important to do this in a timely manner to catch an infestation before it damages additional trees on your property. A professional will inspect your trees and determine the safest course of action.

Protect Property Values and Minimize Risk

If you are uncertain what is causing your tree damage or have a tree that needs to be removed, contact Miller’s Tree Service at 850-765-3147 for a free consultation. Our certified arborists can evaluate the overall health of your trees, identify any structural problems and diagnose pests and diseased trees. We provide property owners with a professional evaluation and recommendations for how to best move forward after tree damage has occurred.

Together, we can create an attack plan that best meets your needs.