Hi all, I have a ponderosa collected last fall that has huge needle growth this Spring. On two of the buds with new growth, I have noticed a few of the long, new needles have fallen off or are about to. Around the buds of these there is a weird enclosed pocket that I have shown in photos below. The final pic is when I poked into it today.
Is this spider mites? I noticed a little webbing when I enlarged the photos, but I know I also have regular spiders living in the trees. The white coating on the needles is fungicide residue from its use earlier this season. Any thoughts on what this is or how I can control it so I don't lose further needles? Thanks! -Matt