canker disease in an Alberta Blue Spruce (Fat Albert)

Asked May 11, 2018, 2:15 PM EDT

I have a 30 year old Blue spruce that was healthy until 2 years ago. I was told by an Arborist it has Canker Disease and would need to be treated 3 times this Spring and fertilized later. I would love to save this stand alone tree in full sun. Does this sound like reasonable treatment to you. He was iffy when I asked if it would turn the tree around. He suggested multiple applications @ $925 per year. Your thoughts. Thanks

Howard County Maryland

1 Response

You can send us photos of the tree, around the base, and affected branches so we can see what you are dealing with.

Here is some general information on blue spruce. Blue spruce can be susceptible to Cytospora canker and Rhizosphaeria needlecast, fungal diseases. Blue spruce, in general, are not really well suited for our area as they are native to climates further to the north. Pruning is the control recommendation.

Cytospora canker occurs on trees stressed by drought or other site conditions. There is not much you can do other than water during dry periods. Make sure mulch is no thicker than several inches and keep away from the base of the trunk. Prune dead plant material during dry weather.

Rhizosphaeria needle cast disease. The infection period is long - spring through midsummer. The needles are affected in the fall and needle drop occurs in the spring. Pruning out severely infected branches is the best control method on branches that show sparse growth. Spraying large trees with fungicides can be complicated - getting good coverage, timing, etc. and not recommended. For more information see the link on our website

Also, here is our blog on blue spruce