Time to check for pine sawflies. Second generations of the redheaded and introduced pine sawfly are active now and can cause significant defoliation if not detected early. Female wasps insert their eggs into needles at the top of the tree, so feeding progresses downward. Several hundred larvae can be found in one tree. Moderate to heavy defoliation stunts vertical growth of infested trees and forking may occur in the upper crown. Complete defoliation will severely stress trees making them prone to other problems.
By Lee Townsend, Extension Entomologist