Infected needles usually turn red to brown from their tips beginning in winter or early spring. By mid to late spring the death of infected needles is well advanced giving diseased trees a red to brown fire-scorched appearance.

Needle Cast Close Up

Tiny black fruiting bodies (spore producing structures) form on the surface of the needles before or after the infected needles are shed.

What Will Happen To My Landscape?

Growth of the fungus from the spots on the needle will cause the death of the entire needle and will eventually lead to shedding.

What Can I Do About Needle Cast?

The first step of treatment is to improve the growing conditions for the tree or shrub. This involves fertilization to promote growth and watering to prevent drought stress. Avoid planting trees on sites with poor growing conditions such as compacted soil. Needle cast seems to thrive when trees are under stressful conditions to include drought. Keeping your tree healthy can minimize the harmful effects of this disease. A combination of cultural and chemical control is often required. Most local hardware stores carry fungicides that will control needle cast. Because these sprays can cause injury to some plants, read the label thoroughly before using and apply according to the directions. Depending on the severity of the damage, more than one fungicide application may be required for complete control. Combating needle cast can be a timely and unpleasant weekend task.

How Can Natural Way Help?

Prevention is the key in controlling needle cast. Here at Natural Way we have certified professionals who are used to preventing and controlling diseases like needle cast. Our 6 Point Protection Program will provide several critically timed sprays to the plant will help control needle cast, extend the life of the plant and minimize overall damage.

Tree Affected by Needle Cast

Photo of tree affected by Needle Cast disease – credit: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Archive, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources,