Needle problems - Japanese black pine

I’m having a problem with both my black pines regarding needle discoloration. It usually starts out as a yellow band around the needle, then enlarges and develops a thin dark red brown in the middle of the yellow discoloration.

There are also some small white puffs on some of the needles.

I starting treating this week with a weekly application of Neem’s oil. I don’t want to go with something harsher unless absolutely necessary, as I don’t like to use a lot of hazardous chemicals.

I am very discouraged as I have just started getting into pines. Any suggestions? I can post a picture if that helps.

Yes, please post pictures with as close up as you can get.

It could be needle cast (fungal infection). Treatment is fairly straight forward by applying fungicide when the new needles are forming/elongating in the spring. Once the cuticle has formed on the needle, it is far less likely to get infected.

Balance of water and oxygen in the root system also helps the tree fight off infections, so understanding your current pot conditions can help troubleshoot. Imbalance can also lead to needle discoloration due to over watering. What is your soil composition and when was the tree last repotted?

The “small white puffs” are scale.
Your treatment of neem oil should work.
You can also go through the tree and scratch them off the needle with your fingernail. :+1:t2: