Huge spruce in my front yard with white dots on the lea side of the bark
Besides that this spruce that has been on my property for 25 + years has suddenly started dropping cones in the fall and one large branch coming from the mid top is only gray branches with no needles. There has been a lot of dropping of needles this fall.
Multnomah County Oregon
Needle shedding in the fall is normal to some extent. It seems that this past fall, conifers were shedding a lot of older needles, perhaps due to the warm dry weather we had. Cone production is cyclical - some years trees produce a lot of cones, and other years not so many. The year before last was a heavy cone production year in the region and that may be why you're seeing more being shed than usual. The gray branch is dead, perhaps it became wounded in some way.
If you could reply with a high resolution photo of the bark showing the white dots that would be helpful for me.
The white material on the bark looks like sap droplets. It does not look fresh, suggesting that perhaps the tree was wounded somehow higher up on the trunk a while back, and sap dripped down. I do not think it is cause for too much concern. The same is true for the shedding needles. Because the foliage is still green and healthy on the branch tips, these branches will continue to grow.
Thanks for contacting us with your question.
Thanks very much! In a wind storm about 10 years ago the top of the tree broke off and fell in the adjacent driveway. But I had a tree person who came out and did something to the top of the tree. So then two lower branches grew upward and seem to form a new top of the tree. Would that be the wounding you are talking about>
It could very well be.