Pine: White pine blister rust

categories: Conifers Ornamentals Pine Pine Diseases

revision date: 2023-02-07 12:00

Light orange pustules on cankers on branch.
White pine blister rust
Photo by: R.S. Byther


White pine blister rust is a fungal disease which attacks all five-needle or white pines. Elongate cankers are formed on trunks and branches. The cankers may ooze resin. In the spring, fungal spores are formed in orange- or rust-colored pustules or blisters on the bark of the cankers. Branches usually die back (flagging) above the canker, which may also have severe pitching associated with it. The alternate hosts for white pine blister rust are currants and gooseberries, which display brown, hairlike structures and tiny yellow blisters on the underside of infected leaves. The upper surface of currant leaves is often discolored. Infection of pines typically occurs in late summer.

Management Options

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

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Plant resistant species. Only five-needle (white) pines are affected.
  • Remove severely infected trees.
  • Prune infected branches, making pruning cuts well below diseased tissues.
  • Do not plant in sites with poor air circulation, as moist conditions favor disease.
  • Do not plant white pines near currant or gooseberry patches. If necessary, remove alternate hosts near pine plantings.

Chemical Management

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

  • None recommended

Additional Images