A glorious 70 foot tall White Pine has become sick over the winter with
all its needles turning brown. It is located on an island in Georgian
Bay, Ontario, Canada and is well removed from civilization, salt, etc..
No other trees on the island - or the area for that matter - display
Is this the work of a pine beetle? If yes, what to do? If not, what has
caused this and is there hope?
At 70' it's a pretty old white pine, probably dying of old age. I have
dozens of huge old white pine on my property, some have fallen and are
rotting away right beside younger specimens. White pine can live 300 years
but that would be exceptional, typically they live 125-150 years. Not every
tree dies of sickness.
Well, you did say "No other trees on the island - or the area for that
matter - display this condition."
It bothers me that you didn't say No other *white pine* trees on the
island - or the area for that matter - display this condition... makes me
think that was the only white pine there... so there would be no way to tell
if others were affected similarly or not affected at all... there would be
no control... typically if there's a disease, and especially and insect
infestation, then all the same trees (and perhaps others) would be similarly
affected. If that is the only one then I definitely stand by my original
theory, old age... even though there could be other reasons. Do you have
any decent pictures? Perhaps you could ask a local arborist.
I happen to have some photos of a few of my large white pines, the larger
ones are growing in the forest:
Here I walked into the woods about 100 feet where I came upon a long dead
white pine that is slowly decaying... further back to the right there's a
perfectly healthy white pine:
Here's another dead white pine near a perfectly healthy speciment:
If I count all the smaller white pine, those like 20, 30, 40 feet tall I
must have thousands, and I couldn't begin to guess how many
seedlings/saplings. There's a stand of smaller white pine across the field
I just mowed:
These are a few I quicky picked out from about a hundred I snapped Aug.
2007... I really can't say why I snapped all those pictures except that at
the moment they looked interesting and I always have my camera with me when
I go out to work the fields, never know what interesting critters I'll meet
up with and without a picture folks may not believe. I'm sure my big white
pines died of old age, were there a disease all the rest would be dead too.
Every year I'm met with trees of all kinds that have recently died and
fallen. And there're always a few that fall into where I mow so I have to
come back with the chain saw. I never have nothing to do.
Not enough information to tell, but, pine bark beetles leave sign on the
bark, and under the bark. Knowing a little of the history of the crown
might help. Did it turn red limb by limb, or all of a sudden? Any
lightning strike evidence on the tree? Wind throw? Anything?
What about lake water levels ?
Could the low lake levels, over the past several years,
have stressed it ?
A local conservation authority might be a better source
of information - they might even send out a tree-person
to have a look.
When our White pines encounter beetles or what ever they die from the
top down slowly . Not much to do about it but plant a few others
seedlings that I scatter about. Two 70 foot pines planted across the
street in 1960 still have one about 70 foot tall and 25 foot babies
about . I'd hazard a guess that our black oak forest will be pine in
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