Some pine trees have a habit of looking a little sad. For some of these trees, they may just need some first aid, for others, it's time to think about removal. Here's how to tell the difference:
The Lower Branches Are Dying
If your pine tree's lower branches are dying, you aren't alone. For some types of pine trees, this process happens every few years. These branches dying isn't a sign that the end of your tree's life is in sight, but they do need to be pruned. Staying on top of pruning these branches is an important part of pine tree maintenance. The dead wood is a huge target for diseases and pests to take root in your tree.
There's Sap Everywhere
Think of pine tree sap as blood, it's responsible for carrying nutrients to the rest of the tree. A small amount of leakage is fine, but the key is in your tree's bark health. If your tree's bark is relatively intact and not flaking away from your pine, a little bit of sap leakage isn't much to worry about. However, if your pine's bark isn't doing well you'll have to be worried about:
Fusiform rust is a disease caused by a fungus. This fungus causes pine trees to grow spindle-shaped growths with a rusty discharge. For each one of these growths spotted on one of your pine trees, your tree is weaker overall. These growths weaken the tree and can lead to more dropped branches.
A canker on a pine tree is a dead spot. These cankers can show as a white patch on a tree or look like a sunken, discolored area. Multiple instances of cankers on your tree is a sign of canker disease. The affected limbs should be removed quickly, or the fungus that causes these cankers will spread to the rest of the tree.
Both diseases lead to the need for total removal of the tree. If either canker disease, or fusiform rust, take hold in your pine tree's trunk the tree may eventually collapse.
Ask A Tree Specialist
If you need help diagnosing any pine tree issues, you should talk with a tree care specialist like the professionals at Destiny's Tree Service LLC. A tree care specialist can come look at your trees and diagnose exactly what their issues are. From there, your specialist can decide if your pine trees just need a little extra maintenance, or if it's time for removal.