Cause Lophodermella sp. Four species cause forest problems on lodgepole, ponderosa, and white pine. Lophodermella concolor and L. morbida occasionally are found on ornamentals. L. arcuata on white, whitebark, and limber pine; and L. concolor on lodgepole pine, L. montivaga on lodgepole pine and L. morbida on ponderosa pine. L. morbida is particularly severe on off-site ponderosa pine in the Willamette Valley of Oregon and in southern Oregon. Fruiting bodies are on last year's dead, fallen, or attached needles, dispersing spores that invade the most recently produced foliage.
Symptoms Death of last year's needles with the development of football-shape or elongate fruiting bodies (hysterothecia) on dead needles. Hysterothecia may be black, gray, or the same color as dead needles, depending on the fungal species. Trees have a lion-tail appearance and have weak, retarded growth.
- Avoid using seed from susceptible (off-site) tree sources.
- For high-value trees, remove and destroy fallen needles that collect in branch crotches and on the ground.
- Avoid planting in low-lying areas with poor air drainage.
- Space plants for good air circulation.
- Forest trees-thinning stands is helpful.
- Control weeds and vegetation around the bases of trees.
- Shear trees during dry weather.
Chemical control Spray when needles are half grown and again when growth ceases.
- Bravo Weather Stik at 2.75 to 5.5 pints/A or Daconil Weather Stik. 12-hr reentry.