Every fall, foresters and plant pathologists get flooded with calls from distraught tree-lovers. “My pine tree has looked great all summer, and now it’s dying! What’s wrong?” With a little probing, we usually find out that, indeed, many of the inner needles are turning yellow or brown and falling off, often alarmingly.
Sometimes homeowners plant trees based on their aesthetic appeal without considering how likely they are to become diseased. Two exotic pine species, Austrian and Scots (Scotch) pines, should not be planted in Iowa because they are extremely susceptible to a few diseases that rarely affect native white pines.