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Crown of dead pine tree beside stressed trees

Why Are My Pine Trees Dying?

My pine trees don’t look so good, in fact they may be dying, what is happening?  There are many causes for declining pine tree health.  Trees can be easily stressed.  Drought, prolonged or repeated, flooding for periods longer than normal, excessive cold or heat, root damage, bark damage can all affect the vitality of the tree.  Pines typically do not recover from episodes of stress.  In Florida, once pines are stressed, beetles commonly attack resulting in fatal injuries.  Beetle damage signs can indicate what is causing the problem.  Investigation on your part will determine if you can do anything to save the tree.

Partial needle loss or changes in color are common.  If the whole tree is changing color rapidly, and sawdust or resin is oozing onto the bark, take action quickly.  You may not be able to save an  attacked tree, but you may be able to save others around the infected tree.

Can I Spray Something On My Trees?

It is important to get an accurate diagnosis as to what is causing the decline before taking actions.  If the tree is clearly under attack by bark beetles, it may already be dead.  Spraying it with insecticides or fungicides will not serve any good purpose.

Will Other Trees Be Affected?

Other pine trees may or may not be affected depending on the type of infecting beetle and if the neighboring trees are stressed.  If mature pine trees are close by the attacked tree and it is spring or summer, the beetles can emerge and travel to the next tree.

For tips on diagnosing bark beetle damage and further information refer to:


11 Comments on “Why Are My Pine Trees Dying?

  1. The lake in our yard has risen considerably since Irma and young pine trees (about 12 feet tall) are under a foot of water and have turned brown. Is there any hope or should we use a winch and pull them out? Any other ideas?

    • Are the needles still on the tree or have they dropped off? How long have the trees been under the water?

  2. Its a baby pine tree. I just noticed the leaves are brown and some white stuff is on it so what can I do

  3. my long needle pine is loosing branches , browning also. Is still alive. What is wrong? I have treated with Bayer Tree and Shrub for borer insects,

  4. I have treated with Bayer Tree and Shrub for borer insects, I have increase watering too.

  5. Purchased Cape Coral house (80 X 120 lot) 1999. 3 slash pines on western border + 1 stump from previous cut down. All 3 apparently healthy until late 2018 when needles started turning brown. Now as of mid-March 2019 all are obviously dead. These are large mature trees. No chemicals have been used on them or on nearby grass. Some near surface roots have beeb exposed due to had raking soil to remove stone debris, etc. I have not observed insect infestation, but I am not sure of what to look for. Other large native Florida trees are present and appear to be healthy. Is a cause of death evident, or have they seen their day and these symptoms are normal?

  6. My pine tree of 25 years…is starting to think out in the inside…dead branches…what did I do

    • You probably didn’t do anything. Pine trees are easily stressed. Often, the stress shows several years after the initial events. High winds, excess moisture, excess dryness of the last several years stressed many pines. Internal canopy thinning can also result lack of sunlight as the outer-canopy is absorbing the light.

  7. Thanks for saying that I should take action quickly since I’m seeing that sawdust is appearing on my pine tree. For some unknown reason, this has been happening since last week, and I’m not sure what the cause is. I guess I should hire a tree removal service to cut down my tree before my other trees get affected with whatever it is experiencing.

    • contact your agricultural extension near you and you should go in person with fotos, in my experience.. before you take drastic, unrecoverable action. best. I have noticed pine trees dying in my neighborhood also, this is in FWB, okaloosa

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