Rhizosphaera needle cast - Balsam Fir
Hello. We have three spruce that have significant Rhizosphaera needle cast. We are wanting to remove them, grind the stumps and replace them with Balsam Firs which we understand to not be as susceptible to needle cast. Is there an issue with doing this and if not, are we able to plant right away after we remove the spruce or should we wait a designated amount of time? Any other recommendations on what should to be done regarding clean up of the spruce in preparation of plating the balsam firs? The location gets full sun almost all day and is well ventilated. Thank you.
Dakota County Minnesota
You shouldn't plant new trees in the immediate area where these infected trees were.
Proper planting and adequate water for the first few years are most important:
Here is some information about this disease and some options:
So there is no amount of time that can pass that would allow planting in the same area? The issue we have is that the current diseased spruce are hiding a large utility box and we are wanting to still cover it after the spruce are removed.
You can pro-actively spray the new trees in order to protect them against any spores that might be in the surrounding soil and, or littler from the old trees. I have not been able to find a definitive answer as to the length of time, but the spores can overwinter in the old needles.