When is it too late to treat mites on a blue spruce?

Asked May 2, 2018, 1:57 PM EDT

We have a 28 year old blue spruce with extensive mite damage. It started browning near the bottom and dropping needles over two years ago, but by the time we really noticed and I researched enough to be fairly certain it has mites, it has now lost needles over 3/4 of the way up the tree. This spring I can see new growth at the top part of the tree, but not on the lower parts. Is it too late to treat the tree for mites now? Can a spruce recover from so much needle loss? Thank you!

Oldham County Kentucky tree health oldham county kentucky horticulture

1 Response

It is not too late to spray for spider mites since they are active during the warm months of summer. However based on your description there is a disease that produces similar symptoms called needle cast. It has affected most of the spruce in this area due to the wet springs we have been experiencing.
For positive identification of the pests and ways to manage the pest, contact the Cooperative Extension Office in Oldham County, 502-222-9453