young blue spruce tree dying

Asked July 15, 2015, 5:40 PM EDT

We planted a 7 gallon spruce tree this May and it had been doing well until the last 3 or 4 days. We water every 6 days for 20-30 minutes with a slow flow hose. It gets a ton of sun, and we have had basically no rain this spring and record breaking temps this summer in Montana. But 4 out of 6 of the same trees we planted are doing well, and they are planted in a line on the top of a bank above a private dirt road. No one has added herbicides, and there doesn't seem to be insect infestation (although insects are killing our much older douglas fir nearby with a top-down death as well.)

Is this one dying, as you can see from the wilting new sprigs on the top and can we save it? If so, how? Should we be watering more? As of now, temps are in the 80's day/50's night, but do go into the 90's at times.

Flathead County Montana

2 Responses

It looks like it might be a terminal weevil.
http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5343827.pdf
http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/fidls/wp_weevil/weevil.htm
http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/timing_is_critical_for_white_pine_weevil_control

If so, you can use an insecticide for the problem, see the link for more informaiton. As the tree grows, in the next few years, it may develop two terminal leaders, you can cut one to correct the shaping of the tree.

thanks! i took that picture to the place I bought the plant and they confirmed your advice and gave me some insecticide. really appreciate your help. i thought it was a water issue.