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University of Illinois Extension

Lophodermium Needle Cast

Lophodermium sp. 


1.5 (1 = rare 5 = annual)  


1.5 (1 = very little damage 5 = plants killed)  


Lophodermium needle cast can be found in forest nurseries, Christmas tree farms and landscapes. There are several species of Lophodermium and most are weak pathogens. Lophodermium seditiosum is the most virulent, and it most often attacks Austrian, red & Scots pine. Very seldom does it affect Jack & white pine.   


Disease starts with yellow spots that become brown with yellow halos late in the fall, in late winter or early spring when tempertures rise. Eventually needles turn all brown in April & May and fall off leaving only new growth in June & July. New seedlings are often stunted and sometimes killed by this disease.  

Life Cycle

The pathogen overwinters on infected needles. Spores need wet needles to germinate and infect. Infection occurs in August into November (August & September being worse). For severe or epidemic conditions, an abundant amount of spores must occur during cool wet weather.  


Follow good sanitation practices. Plant in sun and with good air circulation. If necessary use suggested fungicides according to label directions.

Filed under plants: Evergreen Trees & Shrubs

Filed under problems: Fungal Disease

More information is available on Hort Answers.