Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
4 ratings

Thursday - December 03, 2015

From: Leakey, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Causes of death to Papershell pinion pine (Pinus remota)?
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

Good afternoon. I did my best to review the site and have not found a comparable question - apologies if I have missed something. I own property equidistant between Leakey and Campwood off of HWY 337. The property is home to hundreds of Pinon pines (Pinus remota) and they are dying rapidly: old trees, young trees, trees on flat ground, trees on slopes, etc. In a cluster, some die, some don't. The visual, or noticeable death cycle appears to last about 4 weeks. They go from robust and green, to a reddish brown, to grey and dead. Any ideas/news on this? Thanks.

ANSWER:

I have not come across symptoms like yours for Pinus remota (Papershell pinyon).  But here are some possibilities.  P. remota is said not to like wet soil, and we have been having lots of rain.  But the fact that your trees on a slope are also dying suggests that poor drainage is not the problem.  I read of pines being affected by Honey fungus, but I see no evidence of that in Texas.  Also, porcupines have been reported to damage the trunks of P. remota with the resulting injury allowing entry of pine bark beetles.  

You should carefully check the dying pines for clues to what is killing them.  Any sign of bark being stripped off?  Check this web site for detecting the presence of pine bark beetles.  After careful examination for symptoms, contact the Texas A & M Forest Service office at Forest Health, P.O. Box 310, Lufkin, TX 75902 for their input.  Good luck in solving this puzzle!

 

More Trees Questions

Cherry Laurel for North Central Texas
May 16, 2010 - I want a small evergreen tree (approx 20'x 15')and would like to plant a Cherry Laurel. Would this be a good choice in North Central Texas (DFW area)? If not, any suggestions? Thank You.
view the full question and answer

Cedar trees dying in CO
July 18, 2011 - We have mature cedar trees at the home we bought in SW Colorado. The large ones have begun to die. Can too much water kill a cedar tree and is there anything I can do to keep them alive?
view the full question and answer

Pruning cherry laurel in January in Austin
January 07, 2011 - Do trust I checked Q&A first. Can Cherry Laurel shrubs be pruned earlier than late winter in Austin? I foolishly planted 12 native Cherry Laurel standards on our suburban property line 5 years ago. I ...
view the full question and answer

Pruning smoketree in New Jersey
May 29, 2009 - How far from ground level do I prune a relatively young Smoke tree to get the bush effect?
view the full question and answer

Root suckers growing from base of oak in California
November 24, 2008 - I planted four trees labeled by the nursery when purchased as "Louisiana Oaks" approximately 20 yrs ago in my front yard. All trees are growing well but one of the four has a progressing mass of ro...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.