Blue Spruce Diseases

Asked June 19, 2017, 9:21 AM EDT

I recently visited a tree farm and the owner told me that all blue spruces will be dead within five years due to viruses spread by birds. Has there been an increase in the diseases affecting blue spruces and is there any truth to his statement?

Thank you in advance for your responses.

Livingston County Michigan christmas trees

3 Responses

There are a couple of inaccuracies in what you were told. First I don’t think blue spruce will all be dead in 5 years. Although spruce decline is widespread and, it is not uncommon to see healthy, thriving spruce trees near or adjacent to trees that are in severe decline.

Second, it is not due to viruses spread by birds. We see a number of factors contributing to the decline we see in blue spruce trees, including environmental changes, poor site conditions and new pathogens. Here is a link to a good article that talks about spruce decline. http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/what_is_spruce_decline_and_what_should_you_do_about_it

Thank you for your quick and thorough response!