Pinion Trees and Pests

Happy July from Desert Rose! In this month's blog, we will discuss methods of how to protect your pinion trees from pests. By just looking around town, you can see quite a few pinion trees struggling this year, mostly from needle scale. The scale not only makes the pinion trees ugly, but it can also kill branches and young trees. For mature trees, it can weaken the tree enough to allow other pests to attack the tree and kill it (like bark beetles). The main way to help prevent pests is to ensure the tree receives an adequate amount of water.

Pinion trees need between 10"-12" of water a year to survive. Confirming the tree receives at least this amount will help the tree's natural defenses perform at their best. The main thing that can be done to help the tree receive this amount is to make a posa (or a bowl/mound) surrounding the drip line of the tree. Once this is done, water the tree slowly with the faucet on to a slow flow to fill the posa over the course of an hour. Do this once every 7-10 days. The second preventive measure is to establish a regular spray schedule. Dormant oil during dormant months, and either permethrin, carbaryl, or bifenthrin. Next, find a good evergreen fertilizer and regularly apply it following the instructions on the package. Lastly, prune/remove dead branches during dormant months, and rake up and remove infected needles as they drop. Following the tips above will not only help keep your pinion trees healthy but will help them look their best!


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