Bag the pruned branches and dispose of them. Dead Needles on the Lower Branches of Pine Trees, Problems With Swane's Golden Cypress Trees, Sudden Oak Death and a Fungus in Redwoods, Iowa State University: Common Diseases of Blue Spruce. It usually doesn't kill the tree, but does make it unsightly. The spruce might have a fungus, an infestation of beetles or might simply need improved living conditions. As a result, bottom needles die to help hydrate the rest of the tree. This problem is easy to fix! Prevent spreading the problem by sterilizing your pruning shears with a household disinfectant after every 10 cuts. For tall trees, hire a professional to safely treat the tree crown. jordannah36. A seriously sick blue spruce has purple or brown needles, dead branches and bald spots. 6 years ago. Diana K. Williams is a certified Master Gardener, has more than a decade of experience as an environmental scientist, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and environmental studies from the Ohio Northern University. If you see a cotton-like substance on the tree's branches (these are the insects' egg sacs), the tree is infested by gall adelgids. Repeat every five to seven days until the infestation is eliminated. Norway spruce, blue spruce and white spruce are among the most popular trees in the area, prized for their winter color and ability to screen out the neighbors. Unfortunately, however, blue spruce trees are often subject to a few tree fungal infections that can impact their growth. The first step in knowing whether your tree needs treatment or not is to determine what's ailing it. Ensure that sprinklers aren't splashing on your tree to help stave off rust infections. After about five years the entire tree dies. Can you save a dying blue spruce? Sawfly damage is seen from about mid-May through July. Prevent spreading the disease by spraying pruning shears with a household disinfectant and allow it to dry between cuts. Treat weevil problems by pruning away all dead tissue. However, you need professional help to treat some of the diseases that kill spruce trees. Inspect your tree and note what type of damage it has and where it occurs. One over the past few years had slowly been loosing its needles and now the one next to it appears to have the same problem. Follow all instructions on the insecticidal soap label to ensure that it's safe for your tree and wear any protected gear mentioned, such as eye protection. Justine Harrington is based in Austin, where she writes about current trends in health, wellness, community, gardening and sustainability. These are the trees that will do well if you decide to plant more conifers. Cytospora canker attacks Colorado blue and Norway (Picea abies) spruces, both hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 2 through 7. At planting time, landowners should consider trees other than blue spruce, since it is prone to infection by Rhizosphaera. 1. Williams is a winner of Writer’s Digest Magazine's annual writing competition. The former is an infectious needle disease caused by the fungus Rhizosphaera, while the latter is caused by fungi that infect the branches or the main stem of the trees. Spruce trees withstand extreme cold, but they don't like standing in waterlogged soil or having their branches whipped by strong, winter winds. The most effective approach is to maintain the health and vitality of your trees. Prevent spreading the disease by spraying pruning shears with a household disinfectant and allow it to dry between cuts. How to Tell If a Blue Spruce Tree Is Sick. My Blue Spruce (I think that's what it is) is dying- half of the tree has turned an orangey/brown colour and the top is quite spare. Dry winds can cause winter burn, a nonfatal condition that turns needles brown, beginning at the tips, and is more common on the southwest or windward side of the tree. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Noticed that a single branch in the top of the tree died initially but I recently trimmed up the bottom and now I think I just accelerated the death process as 1/3rd of it is dead now. When you detect some of the symptoms early, you can sometimes save your spruce trees. How to save dying Blue Spruce Tree. Finally, you may spot gall adelgids, aphids or spruce spider mites on your tree; aphids have olive-green bodies and two sets of wings. What Are the Causes of Browning of Leyland Cypress Shrubs? Asked June 6, 2018, 8:09 PM EDT ... Blue spruce grown in our humid climate are susceptible to several fungal diseases which make them unsightly after 15 or 20 years. 6 years ago. In drought-like conditions, evergreens may have trouble getting enough water to all their needles. In addition, the blue spruce is often susceptible to damage from insects. I am wondering if there is any way to save to two of them and if so who do I call or what do I do. The disease can cause dying, though it’s not a death sentence for the tree. Some problems in spruces clear themselves up in time without help from you, but others need to be chemically treated. Advertisement. Is there anything I can do to save this tree? My old blue spruce tree is dying, can I save it? Asked June 6, 2018, 8:09 PM EDT . Take note of thriving species of evergreens in your area. Immature sawflies resemble a small green caterpillar with a yellow or reddish head. If they're not planted in the right conditions, they become susceptible to diseases or appear to be dying when they're not. The end of a spruce tree branch covered in snow. Left untreated, cytospora works its way up the tree killing branches as it goes. Black spruce is hardy in USDA zones 3 through 6. Comments (2) ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5 . Iowa Department of Natural Resources: Fungal Cankers on Trees. Due to its decent growth rate and beautiful, silvery-blue foliage, the Colorado blue spruce tree (Picea pungens) is widely planted throughout the United States. In both cases, the insect pests are tiny and you may need a hand lens to see them. Often times, people are more likely to see the damage as opposed to the insect pests themselves. Fungicides should be applied when the new needles are half-elongated (in late April or early May), and again three to four weeks later. Keep the Christmas spirit alive year-round by adding blue spruce (Picea pungens) to your landscape. If the tree’s soil is dry to the touch, give it extra water through summer’s dry spells. Follow. Prevent spreading the disease by spraying pruning shears with a household disinfectant and allow it to dry between cuts. Rhizosphaera needle cast disease can be diagnosed by looking at the discolored needles with a magnifying glass; the fungus pushes through the stomata of the affected needles and looks like fuzzy black spots. Gall adelgids. Needles turn yellow in mid-summer with orange or white projections forming on them. Ensure that your trees are sufficiently watered, especially during extended periods of drought. Whether you're growing Colorado blue spruce (Picea pungens) for its silvery blue foliage or white spruce (Picea glauca) as a wind screen, these rugged trees withstand frigid temperatures, but are finicky about the conditions they grow in.