Red Pine also known as eastern red pen, pencil rouge and Norway pine. These attractive trees are often used as a windbreak, and used the wood for poles, fuel, pulpwood and wood. Red pines are susceptible to attack by insects, which can reduce power and health.
Scales are common pests of red pine. This pest also attacks Japanese red pine, Japanese black pine and Chinese pine. Red pine shed look tufts of white cotton spread throughout the tree. Female scales are pear-shaped and 1/16 to 3/16 inch long. The males are smaller than females and have wings and long, waxy tails. Mountain pine beetles are other harmful pest red pines. These beetles usually attack trees under drought stress or illness or growing up poor. Mountain pine beetles lay their eggs in the galleries under the bark of red pine. After hatching, the larvae feed on the internal wood of the host plant, which cause significant damage.
Red pine scale lead the new growth on red pine to be shorter than normal, and turn an olive green color instead of a bright, healthy green. Finally, the foliage turns light yellow to red, and covers the entire crown. Red Scales can be seen on the bark of the tree. Infested red pines begin to die, when the leaves turn red and dead tissue is visible at the scale body. Mountain pine beetles usually seek larger pines for infection. Feeding patterns visible under the bark of pine, and pitch pipes are indicative of severe infestation. Mountain pine beetles are vectors of fungal diseases such as blue stain fungi. After the fungus is introduced into the tree by beetles feeding, it helps the beetles kill the tree.
Keep your red pines healthy and stress free is the key to control insect infestation. Avoid wounding trees and provide plenty of water to drought-stress avoided. Several types of natural predatory insects feed on red pine scale. An example is the anthocorid bug feeding on a scale but usually not eliminate it completely. Mountain pine beetles are often fed by woodpeckers and insects are eliminated by the larvae. If mountain pine beetle infestation has reached epidemic proportions, they can not be controlled by other insects.
Currently there are no chemical control products reduce or prevent the development of red pine scale or mountain pine beetle. Beetles are susceptible to extreme temperatures, so bouts of frost can help them. Peeling the bark on infected pines may expose larvae and kill them.