Just a quick update on the problems we are seeing in some of the pine trees in the area. We have sent in some samples and have had confirmation of 2 pine trees infected with pine wilt. One case was north of Great Bend in Bissel Point and another case was a couple miles south of Great Bend. Again, as mentioned in previous emails and updates, the majority of trees in the area have suffered from environmental stress and some tip blights, so this isn't meant to alarm anyone. Just to inform you. But if you are in the Bissel Point area, you may want to take some precautionary measures to protect your pines, especially Scot Pines.
One of the best things that you can do is ensure your trees receive plenty of water during dry spells throughout the year. The beetles that carry the destructive nematodes are attracted to stressed trees, so anything that you can do to eliminate tree stress is important to protecting your pine trees. We also provide preventive applications to help protect your trees from possible infection, but if they are already infected, there isn't anything you can do but dispose of the tree before next spring.
Though it's not very easy determining if you have pine wilt for sure without sending a sample in, typically, an indication of pine wilt is the entire tree or large portions of the tree dying within a few weeks during the summer. So for those of you who have some dieback on portions of your trees, more than likely Diplodia tip blight or Dothistroma blight, both are easily treated, or possibly dieback from the environmental stresses that the trees have experienced over the last 2 or 3 years. Again, this isn't to cause any panic, so don't go cutting your pine trees down if you notice some dead on it. If you have any questions regarding your pine trees, we would love to help you figure it out and get a plan in place to bring them back to health!