We were out yesterday picking a few pine needles for some tea when we came across a Pine with all its needles covered in black bugs. At first I thought this was a fungi like Lophodermium but on a closer inspection I'm pretty sure its a bug.
What does this tell me? e.g. about the soil, or the tree etc. I checked other pines around, but no others had any nearby.
What can we do to help this pine get back in healthy shape?
Up close they look like eggshells
Marc Troyka wrote:Although I'm not positive, my guess would be a pineleaf scale insect. If they're firmly attached to the needles, then they're scales, and scales are virtually impervious to everything and notoriously difficult to control. Without knowing the specifics of the pest and the type of pine it's impossible to say whether they'll pose a serious problem or not, though.
Thanks for that Marc. I did some searching on the black pineleaf scale and it looks about right. They are very firmly attached to the needles as you say, but come off completely with a bit of a scratch.