Blue Spruce Tree Help!

Asked April 24, 2018, 12:49 AM EDT

This year in Utah we haven’t received a lot of snow, so I don’t know if it was from a lack of water. But the branches seem to be dying from the inside of the trunk out words on the tree. The bottom section is definitely being affected more. I’m not sure what to do. But the needles are definitely falling off of quite a few of the branches

Salt Lake County Utah

1 Response

This tree looks fairly healthy but there is definitely something going on with the lower branches. As trees grow their new branches and foliage on the upper and outer parts of the canopy shade the inner and lower foliage and the innermost leaves or needles die and fall off. There is some of that going on here, but some of the branches get enough sun yet their needles are dead and gone all the way to the branch tip. You should look for sign of insect feeding on the needles or physical damage (does something rub against the tree like a mower?). For the dead branches follow them back to where they meet another branch that is doing well or the trunk and see if there is resin oozing out at that point. Sometimes a fungal canker called cytospora can kill a branch or branches from a certain point out and you typically will get resin coming out at the point that the canker enters the stem. The only thing to do if it is a canker is to prune the branch off and hope that it doesn't spread to additional branches farther down or to the trunk.