Fungus on Vanderwolf pine

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by tritonx, Mar 8, 2021.

  1. tritonx

    tritonx Active Member

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    I have a Vanderwolf pine, about 20' high that developed an orange fungus two or three years ago. I researched it and it appears to be white pine blister rust. Turns out, currant bushes are a carrier and there is one planted right next to it. I pondered taking the tree down, but instead cut off the affected branches. However, a couple of years later and considerable height advanced, I see it has one branch (possibly more) that is afflicted and now lower down, it looks as though the main trunk is girdled. Does it look as though this tree will have to be cut down? There doesn't seem to be much in the way of treatment for this fungus.
     

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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  3. tritonx

    tritonx Active Member

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    Very sad if that's the case. I notice that there is a degree of yellowing happening in the needles that seems more than the yearly loss of old needles which blow away in the wind. It's such a beautiful tree. Who knew the flowering current which was already nearby when I planted the vanderwolf was exactly the wrong plant to have in proximity. I'm not sure even nursery people are aware, but should as flowering currant bushes are so common in gardens.
     
  4. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Contributor

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    What a beautiful classic Christmas tree shape pine - one nursery suggests it is related to Arizona piñon

    I do not have a solution but was interested in the connection between currant/gooseberry and this pine

    This is fr City of Seattle WA
    Vanderwolf's Pyramid Limber Pine - Trees | seattle.gov
     

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  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    One nursery suggests it is related to Arizona pinon

    It is thought 'Vanderwolf's Pyramid' is an example of the reflexa variety of limber pine. That variety is discussed here, along with other aspects of the taxonomy of limber pine:

    Pinus flexilis (limber pine) description - The Gymnosperm Database

    with limber pine being from a different part of the genus than the pinon pines:

    Pinus (pine) description - The Gymnosperm Database (conifers.org)

    Otherwise the suggestion from the above City of Seattle link that this cultivar is a

    Great option for a tight yard space

    is contraindicated by one at the Yakima Area Arboretum I estimated to have an average crown spread of 44 ft. some years ago. Along with numerous smaller examples I have seen elsewhere showing a tendency to produce the same broad habit when not shaded from the sides.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
  6. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Contributor

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  7. tritonx

    tritonx Active Member

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    Not only is it beautiful in shape, but unlike other pine trees its needles are soft. You can run your hand down the branch and the needles bend underneath. The branches are often used in Christmas wreaths.
     
  8. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Contributor

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    Isn’t that something - I am very accustomed to ponderosa (big Okanagan pines) with long and stiff needles

    Well if your specimen needs to be removed and destroyed - gasp! - do so in November so we can meet at a distance to make holiday decor !
     
  9. tritonx

    tritonx Active Member

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    When I bought the tree, it was about 5' tall and in 4 or 5 years grew quickly to about 20' and filled out to about 12' at widest point. I don't remember exactly what max height I was told at the nursery, but I specified I needed a tree that would be okay in a small garden. When I saw how quickly it grew, I did more research to see what its maximum height might be, but the information was all over the place including up to 60'. Since the prevailing direction of the winter Pacific storms that can pack some powerful winds is straight down my back yard, I'd started to wonder how secure its roots are, especially if it continued to grow. So there's more than one reason it has to be removed.
     
  10. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Agree with White Pine Blister Rust; the tree is effectively dead now, unfortunately.

    If you want a tree of similar appearance but resistant to WPBR, go for Macedonian Pine (Pinus peuce) or Korean Pine (Pinus koraiensis).
     
  11. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Contributor

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    In reading over the link posted by RonB — I wonder if the original host is the pine or is it the ribes (currant), speaking generally not necessarily this specific situation originally posted

    Gooseberry and Currant (Ribes spp.)-Blister Rust

    Second question - if one is cutting down this infected pine tree - does it have to be burned up hot or is it safe to put on the local garden waste (that gets chipped in to some sort of compost etc sometimes - not sure if it gets heated sufficiently )

    In this situation - does the currant (ribes) need to be removed and disposed of too?

    And what about the soil around where these two plants are?

    Just curious - thank you
     
  12. tritonx

    tritonx Active Member

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    Now I'm curious as well. The currant bush is right next to it and there are no other pine trees near it, even in nearby gardens so maybe scorched earth won't be necessary. I hope so. Also, the current bush (flowering currant, don't know the exact variety) hasn't shown any signs of being infected, though I'll check the leaves when they come out. So far, even with the pine being affected, the currant has looked healthy and puts on a beautiful early show of flowers each spring.
     
  13. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Contributor

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    tritonx

    Good morning this fine coastal day
    Scorched earth made me laugh -

    Because I am curious - and would rather be reading about garden I do while outside (than doing paperwork inside the house)

    I searched around in old forum posts curious to see if this issue has been raised previously — et voila - 2017

    I wonder if the tree you posted about above is same as 2017, or if you’ve had several afflicted pines

    I ask cuz I wonder if the disease came with the pine(s) when you bought at plant store - 10 yrs ago? Too late now I realize

    British Columbia: - White pine blister rust
    Above - this is link to old post 2017 with some alternative pine suggestions from Michael -
     
  14. tritonx

    tritonx Active Member

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    Yes, that's my pine showing the first time I noticed something had gone wrong. Clearly, cutting off the afflicted branches didn't solve the problem. Since I liked the tree so much, I thought I'd wait and see what happened, maybe it would be all right (faint hope), but it's not. The other pine tree suggestions would be too big for the space, so I think I'll go in another direction with planting. Not a tree as I won't be able to get the roots out.
     
  15. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Contributor

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    What a shame — being an Okanagan person I really like the look of a pine

    That said, Coasters do have old and small pines at Smuggler Cove Park - I suppose the wind and waves and rocky outcrops limit their size and makes them sturdy.
     

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