This year, we may see pines appear to die from pine wilt but may simply succumb to environmental stress. Regardless, any tree in which the twigs become brittle, is dead.
Trees with pine wilt cannot be saved. Any tree suspected of having this disease should be cut at ground level and removed from the site. Do not save the wood for firewood because it serves as a breeding ground for the pine sawyer insect. Diseased trees may be chipped, but compost the chips for several months before using them in the landscape. Currently, there are no chemical controls that will cure pine wilt in an already infected tree. However, we do have a couple of products that are partially effective as preventative injections. Greyhound and Pinetect both resulted in an 80 to 90 percent survival rate as opposed to 40 to 50 percent in untreated trees.
The beetles that carry this disease are attracted to stressed trees. Watering during dry periods can help prevent infections. (Ward Upham)