Pine needle diseases

There are 4 main pine needle diseases in New Zealand. Find out what the diseases are and how to recognise and treat them.


Blight in Radiata pine

Blight is a type of plant disease commonly caused by fungi. There are different sorts of fungi that can cause blight, including mildews, rusts and smuts.

If your pine trees look like they may be suffering from blight, check the table to narrow down the likely cause.

 

Cyclaneusma needle cast

Physiological needle blight

Red needle cast Dothistroma needle blight
When
September to November June to November April to October All year
Tree age
6 to 20 years 15 years + Usually 3 years + Planting to 15 years
Spread

No pattern

Very severe

Small area affected

More than 50% of trees within the affected area

Small to medium-sized area affected

Almost all trees within affected area

Widespread

Almost all trees within affected area

Wide variation between trees

Needles

Yellow

Gold

Brown

Brown

Red-brown

Grey

Olive (with or without black bands)

Yellow

Red

Olive (with or without black bands)

Brown

Grey

Red bands with black spots

Wilt
None Only at later stages None Slight
Retention
Needles detach easily Needles are retained Needles detach easily Needles are retained but die
Cambium & bark

No damage

No lesions

No resin

No damage

No lesions

No resin

No damage

No lesions

Some resin blobs may appear at base of affected trees

No damage

No lesions

No resin

If you're unsure what may be affecting your forest, NZ Farm Forestry has a step-by-step identification guide that may help.

Detailed disease descriptions

The 4 main diseases present in New Zealand differ from each other in a number of small but important ways.

Find out more

Who to contact

If you have questions about the information on this page, email info@mpi.govt.nz

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