Woolly Pine Scale
Snow on Pine Trees…wait-- it’s June!
While driving to Charleston last week, I noticed many pine trees on I-26 that looked like it had just snowed on them. Alas, the white stuff on the needles is just the Woolly Pine Scale (Pseudophilippia quaintancii). These scales can infest the needles of loblolly, longleaf, shortleaf, and slash pines. There can be 1 or 2 generations per year.
These scales usually they do not cause too much damage to the trees, but they can be an eyesore. However, if the branches are severely infested this can lead to branch dieback. Although rare, tree death can occur especially if the infestation is severe and the tree has other stresses (drought, overcrowding, herbicide/pesticide damage, etc). These insects excrete a sugary waste (called honeydew) and often there is grey-black sooty mold found on needles or shoots. Typically, natural enemies keep these scales in check and the trees will not have lasting issues. I usually do not recommend any treatment for these scales, but just let the natural enemies do their job!
For more information, please contact Laurie Reid at (803) 667-1002 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org