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Can anyone tell me what might be wrong with my Loblolly Pine?

13 years ago

I have two Loblolly Pines in the front yard of my new house - I live in your standard (south) Houston suburb. In general, my pines have looked a little less healthy than the neighbors - losing brown needles all summer, a few droopy branches near the bottom. They're probably about 10 years old.

Now, I've noticed some round growths popping up from under the bark of one of the trees (the healthier looking one, oddly enough). They're hard, tan, and about the size of ping-pong balls. These growths are in an area right near the base of the trunk, covering one side of the trunk about 8 inches across and about 18 inches in height. There's tons of sap dripping out from the area. Can anyone tell me what this could be? Is my tree a goner?

The only thing I've wondered about is that the previous owners had a bunch of Asian Jasmine right at the base of the tree. Occasionally, a few runners creep up the trunk and I snip them back. I haven't noticed any in the affected area in particular, but I've only been here 6 months. I don't know if the jasmine could harm the tree...

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