Here are some loblolly and shortleaf pines at a plantation house. We went to check trees since many have died over the past few years. Many of these trees are very old and UGA Extension Forestry Specialist Dr. David Moorhead says these pines do have a number of years where they reach and start dying. We’ve also had dry seasons (’10 & “11) followed by rain seasons (’12 – ’14) that are impacted hardwood trees and may be causing issues in pines also.
Only one tree in this stand was actually declining at this time. The needles were starting to turn red in the crown (tree leaning). At the base of this shortleaf is a foam substance with small insects around. The foam sort of disappears as you touch it. It is the result of slime flux or bacterial wetwood. This is something more common on hardwoods but can also impact pines. It is a bacterial that infects when the tree is under some sort of stress. The foam sometimes has a nasty odor. This shortleaf is well over 100 years old too.
Slime Flux and Wetwood has more information on this publication.