Tar spot needle cast
Needle, Annual shoot
Damage, symptoms and biology
Oval, black fruiting bodies form on straw-coloured portions of needles. These areas are often separated from green tissue by an orange-brown band.
The spores mature in late May and early June on needles infected the previous year. In humid weather, the fruiting bodies open and their spores are dispersed by wind and rain. Spores deposited on current-year needles are the source of new infections. Needles infected the previous year drop at that time. A serious infection can reduce growth.