3 Diseases That Can Kill Pine Trees

Trees add a lot of texture, beauty, shade, and value to your yard. Unfortunately, they can also pose danger to your landscape design, home, vehicles, and family. Depending on the specific variety, pine trees can grow up to 150 feet, making them incredibly dangerous if they are diseased. Without proper understanding and care, diseased pine trees will most likely die and fall. Thankfully, help is available. This guide will help you understand and care for common diseases that can affect your pine trees.


Wilt disease that affects pine trees is usually caused by pests, such as beetles or worms. As these pests infest and feed on the pine trees, the disease is transmitted and spread throughout the resin of the tree's interior.

In most cases, the disease will cause the pine needles to discolor, turning yellow and then brown before dropping to the ground. Eventually, the entire tree will turn brown and die.

Again, you may notice the discoloration and dropping of the pine needles, but this disease can also cause limbs and branches to die off, falling to the ground first. Depending on the size of your pine, these limbs can be dangerous.

Since there is no cure for pine wilt disease, removal of the tree is essential to reduce your risk of limbs or the entire tree falling onto your yard or home.


Needle blight is another common disease that can harm and kill your pine tree quickly. Caused by a fungus, the disease can be treated by pruning affected limbs and needles and applying a fungicide to the entire tree.

Signs of needle blight include one or more of the following:

  • Dark green bands around on needles
  • Reddish-brown discoloration of needles
  • Light yellowing of tips of needles
  • Needles falling off the tree

Without early intervention, the fungus will spread and affect not only the needles but also the trunk and roots of your pine.


If the branches and needles of your pine tree are wilting and turning a yellowish brown and you are noticing a resin oozing on the branches and trunk, it is most likely infected with pitch canker disease.

This disease is also caused by a fungus, which is spread by flying insects in most cases.

Treating pitch canker disease involves trimming away diseased branches and applying a fungicide. This treatment is similar to treatment necessary for needle blight disease. Fortunately, many pine trees are able to recover from pitch canker disease. 

To learn more about tree diseases and find out if your tree needs to be removed, contact companies like Arborcare Tree Service.