Dwarf Alberta Spruce Top Brown

Asked April 30, 2017, 10:21 PM EDT

6 to 10 inches of brown at top of 20 year old shrub. Noticed it a few months ago. What can I do to abate this and save this shrub. Thanks.

Washington County Maryland alberta spruce trees top dieback

3 Responses

When a tree suffers top dieback this is generally a type of root issue. Alberta spruce grows best in full sun and moist soils but not wet ones. It does not like a lot of stress. Reasons for dieback include poor drainage and/or spider mites, an insect. http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/spider-mites-trees-and-shrubs

Make sure there are no downspouts in the area dumping water. If so, all you can do is improve the drainage and Prune dead branches. Has there been any digging in the area? Also, look for vole damage - a meadow mouse that makes silver dollar sized holes around the base of the plant. Voles feed on the roots of trees and shrubs. http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/voles

You can send photos of the tree, around the base, and affected area.

Yu can also send photos of the whole tree, around the base of the tree, and decline so we can see what you may be dealing with.

Drainage isn't a problem and didn't see any vole holes around the base. Thanks.

At this point you can prune out the dead areas. It can not regrow from woody areas, so it is not likely to regain it's original shape.