Pine: Lophodermella needle cast

categories: Conifers Ornamentals Pine Pine Diseases

revision date: 2024-06-05 02:07

Straw colored, dead pine needles with some green needles.
Lophodermella needle cast
Photo by: R.S. Byther


This fungal disease infects current-season needles, but symptoms are not found until the following spring. Infected needles turn reddish-brown, and later become yellow or straw-colored. Shallow dimples or depressions can be found on all needle surfaces. Infected needles are killed and cast (dropped from the tree) the following summer. Fungal fruiting bodies which open with a longitudinal slit may be found in dead two-year-old needles. Severely infected trees often develop a “lion-tailed” appearance, as only current-season needles remain on the tree. This disease may be confused with Lophodermium needle cast.

Management Options

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Do not plant in low areas or areas with poor air drainage.
  • Space plantings to provide good air circulation.
  • Reduce humid conditions favoring disease by removing weeds near and under trees, thinning the canopy, and pruning lower branches.

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

  • Apply when needles are half grown and again when growth ceases.
  • Homeowners should not make foliar applications to trees over 10 ft tall.
  • Consult a commercial pesticide applicator for treatment of trees and shrubs over 10 ft. tall.

Approved Pesticides

Listed below are examples of pesticides that are legal in Washington. Always read and follow all label directions.

Additional Images