Dying blue spruce

Asked May 15, 2014, 12:36 PM EDT

We have two 12' blue spruces on our front lawn. Both were fine in the early spring when we bought the house but now one barely has any needles on it and there is a white coating on the trunk near the base. I would like to save the tree if possible and would appreciate your assistance on how I can try to do this. Thank you very much. Joan Klockars

Cecil County Maryland

1 Response


Thank you for contacting Delaware Cooperative Extension. Without seeing the tree or seeing a sample from it, it is difficult to tell what the problem might be. Sap exuding down the trunk is a sign of stress the same way a person might have a rash or a fever. Blue spruce is susceptible to a number of diseases, but I would guess that this might be environmental stress, especially with the excessive rain we have had since last summer. Many trees prefer well-drained sites and do not like "wet feet". I would give your tree a bit of time to see if it puts out new needles. Do not fertilize. I know it's difficult to wait and see, but if it has not come back by mid-summer, you may want to think about a replacement tree.