Blue Spruce tree disease?

Asked September 6, 2018, 8:43 AM EDT

I live in the ValleyMede subdivision of Ellicott City. I have a Colorado Blue Spruce tree that has it's needles turning brown and falling off. In our neighborhood blog people have posted that these trees are dying and tree contractors have told them that Spruce trees have a "disease" and need to be cut down. Have you seen or heard about any disease affecting these trees or other evergreen trees in this area. Attached are two photos of my tree. There have been no bag worms on the tree this year.

Howard County Maryland disease issues trees

1 Response

Blue spruces are difficult to grow well in Maryland. There are two diseases that commonly infect and disfigure them as they age. This article from our plant pathologist explains the needle blight and cytosphora canker symptoms that are, unfortunately, very common in this species.

Practical management of both of these diseases is difficult because the infection period can extend from spring through fall depending on rainfall. Diseased branches can also serve as sources of infective spores for many years after infection and help intensify disease progression. Fungicide sprays are impractical for most homeowner trees.

Your tree probably has about 5 good years in it yet. If you decide to replace it with another evergreen, there are several alternatives to blue spruces listed on our website.