The European Pine shoot moth attacks red, mugo, Scots, Austrian, ponderosa and a several other pines. The beetle kills the tips of the branches terminal and laterals. There is one generation per growing season. Eggs are laid at the base of new needles in late spring. After hatching, the insect mines the base of the needle. The insect tunnels into the shoot from the base of a needle. The needle usually dies and turns brown during the summer. By the middle of summer, the insect has moved into the new buds. By late summer the insect stops feeding. European pine shoot moth tends to over-winter in the injured tissue Severe infestation may give the infected tree a reddish appearance. Severe infestation on small trees may cause their death. This insect is more of a problem in Christmas tree farms and in commercial tree nurseries then in the home landscape. Drought and poor growing conditions seem to increase damage by this shoot moth.
The Nantucket pine tip moth attacks all pines with two or three
needles per bundle except for two of these pines not normally grown
in the midwest. This insect usually has several generations per
Prune out and destroy the dead branch tips. Check with your local land grant university (Cooperative) Extension Service for the recommended insecticide.
Written by James Schuster, Extension Educator, Horticulture, and reviewed by Dr.Philip L. Nixon, Extension Specialist-Entomology, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.