Decisions concerning tree removal are often complex and the following information is a general policy statement and not a substitute for on-site professional hazard tree evaluation.
Monterey pine, along with many other pine species, is susceptible to pitch canker. The earliest symptom of pitch canker is dieback in the canopy, caused by infections on individual branches. Infections on large branches and the main stem of a tree can lead to top-kill and, in some cases, death of the entire tree. Trees differ in their susceptibility to pitch canker (see "What is Genetic Resistance?"), but nearly all will sustain some infections. Thus, when a tree shows early symptoms of pitch canker, it is not possible to predict how far the disease will progress in that tree. Recent research indicates that approximately 10% of Monterey pines are at least somewhat resistant to pitch canker; and will not sustain serious damage from this disease. Furthermore, some trees that do become heavily infected will recover from pitch canker.