Lower branches may lose so many needles that growth at the tips stops, resulting in the death of the entire branch (photo below). Only the needles on the tips of the branches will remain. Another key characteristic of needl… The damage begins on lower branches and moves up the tree. These tips also apply to dwarf forms of Blue Spruce, such as Picea pungens ‘Globosa’ (Globe Blue Spruce). Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lee@A Guide to Landscape Design & Maintenance with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. I have a true passion for horticulture and design and believe that good communication between designer and client is the key to achieving the ideal landscape. Some spruce trees, such as Colorado Blue Spruce may be susceptible to environmental stress. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. The typical needle cast problem on a blue spruce is rhizophora, which is typically treated by spray in May. Wear the recommended protective clothing, and read all instructions regarding mixing and applying the fungicide before you begin. View all posts by Lee@A Guide to Landscape Design & Maintenance, April Gardening Maintenance Tips, Evergreen Care, evergreen maintenance, Fungal Diseases of Evergreens, General Gardening Maintenance TIps, May Gardening Maintenance Tips, Spring & Summer Gardening Tips, Spring Gardening, Tree and Shrub Care, Tree Diseases, Trees & Shrubs, care of evergreens, diseases of spruce, Fungal diseases, landscape maintenance, needle cast, needle cast disease, needle shed on evergreens, spruce, spruce diseases. A southern or western exposure suits this best. Other evergreen options include concolor (white) fir, Easter red cedars or other junipers, and yew. A: The indication in the photograph (shown here) are classic symptoms of a common foliar disease called Rhizosphaera Needle Cast, which routinely affects Colorado Blue Spruce … Copper and chlorothalonil are two active ingredients that are proven effective against the diseases. Should your tree show signs of early needle cast, it is treatable. Instead, consider planting Norway spruce, which is resistant. Follow the safety precautions on the label to the letter. All Rights Reserved. Drip irrigation is recommended where possible, allowing the soil to dry between watering. ... Rhizosphaera needle cast … Similarities and differences between the two diseases exist. The best proactive means for preventing needle cast disease is to plant your Blue Spruce in the proper location and provide proper care. Please read information in the links provided below. Rhizosphaera and Stigmina, the two most common needle cast diseases of spruce trees, are treatable. Needle cast diseases cause spruce trees to “cast off” their older needles and keep only the young needles at the tips of the branches. Lee Miller@Landscape Design By Lee 2020. Large trees are difficult to treat without help from a tree service. These diseases primarily affect blue spruce. For more gardening tips Visit my Author Page, A Guide to Northeastern Gardening: Journeys of a Garden Designer Landscape Design CombinationsDream, Garden, Grow!-Musings of a Lifetime Gardener. Well-timed sprays in the spring will normally suppress Rhizosphaera to non-detectable levels in the population of trees. Sign up for our newsletter. Do not plant too deeply. "The love of gardening is a seed once sown never dies" - Gertrude Jekyll, Master Gardener, amateur photographer, intermediate quilter and lover of day trips around New England. A GUIDE TO LANDSCAPE DESIGN & MAINTENANCE. I am involved in blog writing so that I can share my love of gardening with others. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Thank you for visiting! At this time there is no known control strategy. If you look at the needles with a hand lens, you’ll see rows of small black dots. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. If you have seen trees affected by needle cast disease in the area, avoid planting this highly susceptible tree. While some browning and dropping of older needles in spruce is common, needle cast disease is noted by a distinct brownish-purple discoloration which appears on needles (usually towards the bottom of the tree) mostly in late summer, followed by the eventual death and dropping of older needles. Trees affected by needle cast disease have needles that turn yellowish in summer, gradually changing to purplish brown in late winter and spring. You are correct that spraying a 75' tall tree would be next to impossible. Rows of white dots are normal. Colorado Blue Spruces are very susceptible to Rhizosphaera needle cast, but other types of spruce are more resistant. Trees with Stigmina or Rizosphaera needle cast fungus have a distinctive appearance. ( Log Out /  Newer current growth may show no signs of the disease until during autumn and into spring. Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. I am a landscape/garden designer, consultant, blog author and published book author, involved in the horticultural industry since 1996. If you feel comfortable trying to identify the disease at home, here’s what to look for: Treat the tree by spraying with a fungicide twice in the spring and then once every four weeks during wet weather. Needle cast can be effectively controlled with fungicides containing chlorothalonil. Autumn Browning and Needle Shed on Hinoki Cypress: A Natural Process, Fall Gardening Tip: Pruning Ornamental Grasses & Liriope, Follow A GUIDE TO LANDSCAPE DESIGN & MAINTENANCE on WordPress.com, Winter Care of Trees, Shrubs & Perennials, Louise Nicholls - Adventures in horticulture, GardenComm Grows | The Official Blog of GardenComm. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. From who I've been, to who I am. White spruce and other conifers, like pine and fir, are also susceptible. As mentioned in the beginning of this article, the best method of preventing needle cast starts with proper planning, planting and monitoring. Typically, infections start near the bottom of the tree where foliage dries more slowly and progresses upwards. Alternate between sprays with different active ingredients. ( Log Out /  Some spruce trees, such as Colorado Blue Spruce may be susceptible to environmental stress. Rhizosphaera and Stigmina, the two most common needle cast diseases of spruce trees, are treatable. Stigmina and Rhizosphaera Needle Cast in Trees. 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