Dying birds nest spruce and eastern redbud.

Asked July 14, 2017, 2:49 PM EDT

What is killing this and is there a way I can stop it? The birds nest is about 13 years old. This spring it looked to be dropping needles and I hit it with some Seven. This does not seem to have helped. The first picture is earlier this year and second is this week. The red bud has been in the ground one year. Bloomed well this spring and has since gotten brown edges.

Northampton County Pennsylvania

2 Responses

The birds nest spruce may be suffering from a spider mite infestation. It is difficult to diagnose with just a photo but there appears to be a white substance on the tips of some of the dead branches which might indicate the presence of the spider mites. I have included a link below to a publication that describes the spider mite and instructions on how to self diagnose and treat. There are other potential causes but I would suggest an immediate examination to try to prevent additional damage.

Three major diseases affect redbuds (Botryosaphaeria canker, verticillium wilt and leaf anthracnose). Botryosaphaeria canker has open wounds or sunken black spots on the twigs. Verticillium wilt disease causes sections of the tree leaves to appear wilted. Anthracnose causes yellowing or browning along the veins of the leaves and eventually total browning and loss of leaves. In severe cases all of the leaves on a tree are lost. Anthracnose is a fungal disease that spreads during cool, wet springs. The fungus is spread by water splash from infected areas to non-infected areas. To keep it from spreading you must remove all brown leaves and prune out diseased areas on trees. There is no treatment for anthracnose once a tree is heavily infected. Stressed trees succumb to disease. The following link provides additional information on anthracnose disease and possible treatments. http://extension.psu.edu/pests/plant-diseases/all-fact-sheets/anthracnose-on-shade-trees My suggestion is that the redbud is suffering from anthracnose rather than verticillium wilt or canker disease at this point in time.

Thank you for your answers and the links. It was very helpful