What is eating the needles on my blue spruce trees?

Asked August 2, 2015, 10:03 PM EDT

This is the third summer for two blue spruce trees we planted in our yard. We live in the city of Maple Grove and our yard is fenced in. The trees have grown like crazy and appeared healthy until this summer. It seems as if something is eating the needles but like I said, our yard is fenced in. I've been online and the only thing I find is something about worms/caterpillars, but I don't find anything like that on these trees. Would you please look at the attached pictures and let me know what you come up with? I'd really love to save them.

Hennepin County Minnesota trees and shrubs needle cast rhizosphaeria horticulture

3 Responses

Colorado spruce are known to be susceptible to Rhizosphaera needle cast, a fungi that is common in Minnesota and defoliates the tree. Here is the publication: http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/trees-shrubs/spruce-tree-diseases/

I also wonder if you have a second issue in that the branch tips are brown and wilted. Has any herbicide been used around or near the tree recently?

Yes, I did spray for weeds between the two fences about 3 feet behind the trees.

Herbicide could be part of the problem with your spruce. It should recover from herbicide damage if it was only a small amount and not repeated.