Blue spruce trees are susceptible to an infectious needle disease caused by the fungus Rhizosphaera. Second-year needles turn a purple or brown color and eventually fall from the tree. After several successive years of needle loss branches may die.
The appearance of purple spruce needles usually points to root dehydration. If the damage appears during the winter or early spring, it’s probably the result of winter injury. All spruce trees, but especially those growing in or near lawns, need water during the dry fall and winter months.
Subsequently, question is, how do you know when a blue spruce is dying? The appearance of small black spots, premature needle loss and a thinning canopy can be signs of Rhizosphaera needle cast. The infectious fungal disease starts near the base of the tree and spreads upward. A seriously sick blue spruce has purple or brown needles, dead branches and bald spots.
Also question is, why do blue spruce needles drop?
There are several reasons why a spruce trees needles might turn brown and drop. If needles are browning at the tips of the branches followed by lower branches dying, you may be dealing with a fungal disease known as cytospora canker, which is the most common unnatural cause for needle drop on Colorado blue spruce.
Do blue spruce needles grow back?
Well, the short answer is no, the needles will not grow back. Long answer is, as long as the growing tips of the branches are not damaged, the tree will most likely produce new buds next year as long as the tree has been properly cared for (good water, maybe a bit of fertilizer this past spring, etc.).
Why are my blue spruce turning brown?
If so, the tree is likely fine. Spruces can suffer from Rhizosphaera Needle Cast, a fungal disease that causes needles on spruce trees to turn brown and drop, leaving bare branches. Trim out the brown branches and protect the healthy growth from infection.
What is the lifespan of a blue spruce tree?
Lifespan. In the wild, the Colorado blue spruce can live 200 years or more. In the home landscape, it usually stays healthy for about 40 to 60 years, after which its health begins to fail, according to Northern State University.
What is killing the blue spruce?
Cytospora Canker of Spruce The Cytospora canker fungus may attack many different species of hardwood trees, conifers, and shrubs. Over time, the fungus encircles or girdles branches, causing death. Brown needles can be observed on killed branches, but they eventually fall off, leaving bare branches.
What is killing the blue spruce trees?
Cytospora canker, caused by the fungus Cytospora kunzei (also known as Valsa kunzei var. piceae), is the most prevalent and destructive fungal disease of Norway and Colorado blue spruce. Cytospora canker rarely affects trees less than 15 to 20 years old. Infected trees are weakened substantially, but are rarely killed.
How do I make my blue spruce more blue?
Apply a chelated iron-rich fertilizer if a blue spruce develops a yellow or yellow-green color. A shortage of iron will cause the needles of a blue spruce to lose their blue coloration. The fertilizer will replace the depleted iron and help the needles regain their blue color.
How do you care for a blue spruce tree?
Caring for Colorado Spruce Water it regularly to keep the soil moist through the first season and only during dry spells thereafter. The tree benefits from a 2-inch layer of organic mulch that extends just beyond the tips of the branches. Pull the mulch back a few inches from the base of the tree to prevent rot.
How do you treat blue spruce fungus?
Consider treating affected trees with fungicides containing the active ingredient copper (e.g., Bordeaux mixture) or chlorothalonil. Treatments will not cure existing infections, but can prevent additional infections. Apply treatments every three to four weeks starting as new needles emerge in the spring.
How do you save a dying spruce tree?
The following will help you manage rust disease: Prune away dead branches, twigs, and infected areas of the tree. Remove fallen foliage and destroy it (burn it). Apply a fungicide to the tree after removing signs of the infection. Deep water the tree once per week to help it recover from the stress.
Will a spruce tree regrow branches?
Answer: Generally, it is acceptable to remove dead branches on pine trees as they won’t grow back. On spruce trees, it can be helpful for the tree to remove dead branch sections so that healthy branches can replace them, since spruces will regrow along the healthy branches that have buds.
How do you water a blue spruce tree?
Watering Blue Spruce Feel the soil near the blue spruce tree to a depth of about 1 inch. If the soil feels dry, it is the right time to water the tree. Thoroughly soak the soil around the roots of the tree but avoid over-watering to prevent root rot.
How do you tell if an evergreen tree is dying?
If it’s pliable and bends without breaking, it’s still alive; but if it snaps easily, it’s dead. For the scratch test, use your fingernail to scratch the outer bark of a stem. If the underlying tissue is green, it’s still alive; but if you continue to see brown tissue, that part of the stem is dead.
How do you know when a Norway spruce is dying?
Root rot symptoms could be exhibited through dead branches, brown needles and make it look like it’s dying. Although you described your tree as having a lot of new growth, the damage could be in an early stage. Spruce needle rust has been found throughout our area since the 1990s and infects many trees.
Do Norway spruce drop their needles?
Picea abies (Norway spruce): Traditional Christmas tree with a good scent, but quick to drop its needles. Spraying with ‘Spray ‘n Save’ Christmas tree spray will help reduce needle drop.
What does a blue spruce look like?
Blue spruce, also known as Colorado spruce, is a conical-shaped evergreen tree with stiff horizontal branches and short stiff needles. It is a commonly used tree in Midwest landscapes. In nature the needles are often green, but many specimens produce blue-green needles.