Is my black pine sick?

Lannabulls

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Hi,
Below some photo of a prebonsai black pine that I have since a couple of months.
I received it as a present, telling the trough I tink that pine is not a proper species for me cause I am a beginner and second, beside the fact that I am living in North Thailand, mild weater, here winter dosent exist, the "coldest winter" means 20 c. Experts here are able to grow beautiful pines however it is a big debate between entusiasts and other experts that say that pine here cant be grow in a proper way.
Please look at photos below, do you tink that my pine got some sikness, fungi? Note please the yellow strips on niddles. Practically all niddles have yellow tip, the rest of the niddle body is green lush, at the moment very a few one have, as you can see, yellow strips too.
Is this a fungi or cause I dont have experience is normal stuff?
Thanks for help
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Shibui

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The yellow bands on the needles indicate needle blight which is a fungal infection called Dothostroma.
It is not badly infected and could even recover without any treatment.
You cannot make those infected needles normal but should treat the new growth in spring because that's when the new needles get infected. Several fungicide treatments seem to be effective in stopping dothostroma if you choose to treat it when the new shoots start to grow.

Otherwise the tree seems to be healthy.
JBP seem to grow OK in tropical areas so don't give up hope. Your tree should be OK even in Thailand.
 

Lannabulls

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Thanks so much Shibui!
The stripped niddles are really a few,
I did some reserch about, could you please confirm, copper hidroxide is the proper fungicide?
Thanks again for your help, really, really apreciate it!
 

just.wing.it

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Bonide Infuse (granules not liquid) seemed to work on my JBP with Needlecast.
I sprinkled about a tablespoon of it on top of the substrate twice last year, once in spring and again in late summer.

Sucks to deal with Needlecast.
Good luck!
 

Lannabulls

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Thanks so much!
Here in Thailand is not easy to find "such things" as over there in USA, products like these one can not be imported too. In this case here I can find Copper hydroxide easily, I wait confirmarion if it is a proper fungicide as I found in my research.
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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Thanks so much!
Here in Thailand is not easy to find "such things" as over there in USA, products like these one can not be imported too. In this case here I can find Copper hydroxide easily, I wait confirmarion if it is a proper fungicide as I found in my research.
Copper hydroxide (Cu(OH)2) doesn't sound like it helps due to the lack of sulfur and the alkaline nature of the salt. Do people around you use that stuff?

We use copper sulfate (CuSO4) pentahydrate.

Look up the scientific name of needle cast, like dothostroma (and there are two more types as far as I know) and look at what your locals are using against those diseases.
 

markyscott

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You might find this resource helpful.


S
 

Lannabulls

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Copper hydroxide (Cu(OH)2) doesn't sound like it helps due to the lack of sulfur and the alkaline nature of the salt. Do people around you use that stuff?

We use copper sulfate (CuSO4) pentahydrate.

Look up the scientific name of needle cast, like dothostroma (and there are two more types as far as I know) and look at what your locals are using against those diseases.
Thanks so much for your quick help!
I dont enter into details, not important, about bonsai pine here is not easy find local experts.....
I mention copper hydroxide after a personal reserch, "how to cure pine dothostroma" and then I ask you experts confirmation cause I am a totally bonsai rookie, first time ever I deal with a sick tree.
Copper sulphate pentahydrate "cus04", at home
I have planty of cause I use it for copper plating steel trough electrolysis.
Wires_Guy_wires, do you confirm, is it the right copper?
How many grams x liter of water and how many time I should spray my pine?
Thanks so much to you all, I really apreciate your help!
 
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Lannabulls

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Forget to ask, probabbly a stupid question anyway, I am here to learn, dothostroma can infect other species as juniper? I have 1 bonsai and 3 prebonsai, juniper nana and golden juniper.
Thanks!
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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Needle cast is specific to pinacea, so junipers are not affected.
I spray my trees once or twice with 0.05-0.08 grams copper sulphate pentahydrate per 1.5 liter of water in spring when the foliage elongates to prevent infection. I do it once or twice again in summer, just before the needles harden off (go dark green) and a couple weeks later.

You cannot cure it because its an infection on the inside of the needle; a systemic fungicide will kill the fungus, but it will not prevent re-infection unless the tree isn't constantly on fungicides (and this damages the root sphere, as well as the tree itself).
 

Lannabulls

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Ok, I am going to follow your suggestions Wires_Guy_wires, I have my copper sulfate phentaydrate, ready to spry, the most difficult thing is waight 0.05-0.08 grams, my scale does a minimum of 0.1
I am going to spry at morning time before sun rise.
Really hope is going to work, the infection appears to be limited, the pine looks ok, I really hope!
Thanks so much again to all of you experts for your quick help, I really apreciate it!!!
 

Lannabulls

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One more question: when I am going to spry my pine, the copper solution is going to drip down into soil, is it fine? Or I must shild the soil as best as possible? Sorry about my silly question, I prefere to ask you and go with your suggestions, trust more!
Thanks so much
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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The soil is a home for many fungi and bacteria that help your tree in the beneficial ways. So it's better to avoid copper sulphate from dripping on the soil.

As for weighing the copper sulphate: a sprinkle is what I do, a pinch, two or three needlepin heads (or match heads) for a bottle. It doesn't have to be very precise, a little less is always better than a little more.

Again, you cannot cure needlecast so don't expect the existing infections to disappear. You can only prevent it. So use the copper sulphate as a preventative spray, not as a cure.
If the infection is mild, you can always cut the needles that are affected off, clip them just below the band. This will take the infection (and the spores that spread through the wind) away from the tree. If the spores are far away, a new infection is less likely to happen.
 

JeffS73

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If it helps, the copper I use is copper oxychloride. Suspension is 435g/l of copper oxychloride equal to 256g/l of pure copper. I dilute 5ml of this in 1L of water. Copper is useful for many foliar fungal diseases.

Dothistroma can infect almost all conifers. Cedar and Larch can get it bad. I've seen it on Yew, spruce and Fir too.

Spray only reduces needle infection risk, but this is a big help. You may want to spray every few weeks. If you can still see green residue of copper, it will still be working.

Remove entire infected needles to reduce disease pressure. Conidia (like a spore) spread on the needle surface and can be down the whole length of a needle once infected. Clean tools or fingers frequently, I use alcohol, otherwise you will spread live conidia and do the fungi's job for it.
There's a bit more to it than this, don't remove too many needles, but definitely remove all needles which have dark red/black bands.

Best of luck!
 

Lannabulls

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Thanks so much Wires and Jeffs.
As suggested I spryed my pine with boards to shild soil.
Cause my scale does as minimum of 0.1 and you suggested 0.08 x 1.5 liter of water, I simply mix 0.15 gr with 3 liters.

Teach me please something more, look please at my photos, as you can see pine is green lush, very a few needles have stripes, the strip is yellow no black sides, so a few needles present strip that I can even count them.I am going to remove them as you suggested.

What I would like to know, on the contrary, despite very a few one present yellow strips, all have the top tip yellow as you can clearly see in pictures.
Sorry for my silly question, first time ever with a black pine and a health problem, these yellow tips, all needles from past season, new growth is entarely green, is because needle blight or what?
Thanks so much!
 
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JeffS73

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I've seen this on my pines, and thought about it, and I mean a lot!

In short: Yes, they're infected. If they are new needles, you may get away with cutting these needles in half. Remove needles close to buds or newly opening buds. It is a balancing act - you need to disrupt the disease cycle but not take too much energy from your tree. I have successfully removed all old needles from JBP as soon as new needles emerge.

The long speculative bit:
Conidia are asexually produced spore that spread the disease.
I have read that from soon after infection, the fungus produce hypha from which conidia are slowly released. This is different to when the fungus matures (2 seasons), where it will go black and the majority of conidia/spores are released.
My speculation is that these early conidia are how the disease spreads throughout a tree, whereas the mature fungus creates a large volume of spores/conidia that spreads from tree to tree through the air.
I believe early conidia spread down the needle via water action - spray, rain, humidity. Here, at the needle base they either infect or lay dormant on the outside of the bud. As the bud extends into a candle, these conidia are 'smeared' on the outside, specifically, on the needle bracts. You should notice these get infected first. Then, needles push past the bracts. It's always needle tips infected first, the part lying under the bracts. Needles extend, and hey presto!, infection now at the top of the tree/branch, ready to infect lower parts via water action again.
It's very clever, the fungus has evolved to use water, gravity and the trees own growth cycle to spread itself throughout the tree.
This is the cycle you need to disrupt to eliminate the disease.

There, that's my academic paper on Dothistroma, I just need an electron microscope to prove it! 🤓
 

JeffS73

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PS, not a silly question. It was exactly this question that led me to the above conclusions.
 

Lannabulls

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Thanks so much Jeefs,
your thecnical explanation is useful!!!
As you suggested I am going to remove all needles with strips, very a few one and, with balancing in mind, cut in half the yellow tips needles. We are talking about old needles, new growth is entirely green, at list for now, I have the pine since a couople of months.
I already spried my pine twice with copper sulphate phentaydrate as Wires suggested, repeat spry once a week, 2 or 3 more time in total.
Thanks so much
 

Lannabulls

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Forgot to mention, in your first reply you mentioned green residue after sprying and consequent dried out.
Copper sulphate is blue color, cause the very little quantity that I am using, 0.15 grxliter water, is impossible to have some left over, at list I suppose. After last spry, 2 days of winter Thailand sun, no traces left over at all.
 
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