loosing needles on a spruce tree

Asked May 1, 2017, 2:25 PM EDT

one of our spruce trees is getting sparce needles on one side of the tree aminly on the lower branches. Please see the attached pictures. Is it a fungus or disease?

Hennepin County Minnesota diagnosis of plant problems spruce tree needle loss horticulture

1 Response

We can't be sure what's causing the needle loss on the branches shown in the photo. For a certain diagnosis, consider asking a forester or certified arborist to assess the trees' health onsite and recommend a course of action.

That being said, based on what we can see in the photos, it's possible the trees have been affected by a common spruce needle disease called Rhizosphaera. By reading about the symptoms mentioned in the following bulletins and looking carefully at the needles, you may be able to determine whether the disease is present.

https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/cpr/forestry/needle-cast-diseases-of-spruce-diagnosis-and-treatment
https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/casscountyextension/pdfs/spruce-diseases-in-north-dakota