Douglas firs brown

Asked March 29, 2014, 11:59 AM EDT

All of our Douglas firs over 200 in various ages and height appear to be dying. their needles are brown. We have had a severe cold winter in northwest Indiana but not dry


3 Responses

Thank you for contacting eXtension with your question about the Douglas firs.

You mention that you have 200 trees dying. Would I be correct to assume that this is a commercial Christmas tree plantation? If so, you will definitely want to have a Purdue Extension educator visit the site, rather than depend on an email exchange to diagnose your trees' problems. Please let me know if you need help finding your local Extension educator (I just need to know what county this farm is in).

Some information you may want to have ready for your Extension educator:

  • Total number of trees in planting
  • Specific ages and sizes of trees affected
  • % of trees affected
  • Specific symptoms:
    • % of each tree affected
    • Any pattern to injury symptoms (top vs. bottom, one side or other, part of field vs. other, etc.)
    • Is entire needle brown, or does it start at tip, etc.
  • Health of planting in 2013. Other pest history.
  • Soil type, soil test results
  • List of pesticides and fertilizers used in 2013/2014.

You might want to take a look at this article from Michigan State University about winter injury on evergreens, which came out over the weekend: .

Not a tree farm. Never followed thru. Just reforesting a field now. Laporte county Indiana. Sandy soil. Older spruce trees not as badly affected. Entire tree covered in brown needles. But if u break a needle off the tree u can see green

Thanks for the additional information. I'm still leaning more toward an environmental problem rather than an infectious disease problem.

I also still recommend contacting your local extension office. Gene Matzat is the person in LaPorte County who may be able to help you: Phone: 219.324.9407
E-mail: . Let him know you have been in contact with me through eXtension.