Please Help My Blue Spruce Survive

Asked February 26, 2018, 10:26 AM EST

I read the informative article, "Blue Spruce in MD won't be long lived" by Ellen Nibali in the Baltimore Sun on Sunday. I live in Western Howard County (Glenelg) and have had this beautiful blue spruce for 28+ years and did not notice any problems. Last summer I noticed it was being attacked by yellow jackets and it appeared that they were eating the tree (see photographs). They swarmed all over this tree all day long. Questions: 1) Is the tree sick and the yellow jackets are taking advantage of it or are the yellow jackets the culprits? 2) What do I do to get rid of the yellow jackets? We climbed under the tree last week but found no yellow jacket hole - it must be covered up. We read about what has to be done but it sounds pretty dangerous without proper gear. 3) Can you recommend anyone or any company that gets rid of yellow jackets? Love this tree. Thank you so much.

Howard County Maryland

1 Response

Your blue spruce is just about the age when they start to decline. Keep it watered during dry periods and enjoy it while you can. You will see many blue spruce dying in your area because many developments were put up over the years and blue spruce were plants then.

The yellow jackets are not harming your spruce. They cannot feed on spruce. There may have been a yellow jacket nest under the tree, however they are now gone. They all die at the end of the summer except the queen, who overwinters elsewhere and will not return to the same nest.