Friday, April 1, 2011

And The First Plant Sample Submitted to the Plant Clinic is..... (insert Drum roll here)..... Pine Wilt Disease

This little critter and his friends killed a windbreak of 30 pines.  This is a pinewood nematode.

This pinewood nematode is in the vascular system of a pine (like the picture above) and is causing the disease Pine wilt.  This, in turn, will lead to a dead pine. 

The pinewood nematode "hitches a ride" on the pine sawyer beetle.  These beetles devour pine trees in the spring and can infect a pine near you.  Pines under stress are more prone to be killed by the pinewood nematode.  Depending on the size of the pine tree, it can take 1 to 2 years for it to die from the infection of the pinewood nematode.

Here are some great web resources to learn more about pinewood nematode and Pine wilt disease:

If you suspect that your pine (usually not white pine) has Pine wilt disease, you are welcome to send a sample to the University of Illinois Plant Clinic.  There is a $15 dollar fee.  Please send several foot long branches that are 2 -3 inches in diameter.  Be sure they are from an area of the pine that is showing symptoms, but is not dead!

If your pine is diagnosed with Pine wilt, the tree will need to be removed immediately in order to avoid the infection of other pine trees!

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