Fungus on fir tree

Asked October 1, 2018, 7:40 PM EDT

Hi, I was referred to you by my local nursery. The 1-2 year old tree in my front yard appears to have mold or a fungus. Please see attached photos. I have had one new growth fir tree already due in this same location. Now, I see this on the second tree. Can you tell me if there is a way to treat this? Is it diseased or is this normal? I’d like to be able to revitalize this tree but I’m not sure what to do. Thank you.

Washington County Oregon

5 Responses

Are you able to send in a photo from a distance showing tree shape and surrounding area? Also, how do you care for tree? (Irrigation, pruning, sun or sharde?)

I hope you’ll share another photo, of the whole tree and maybe another branch photo showing needles. The type of tree matters with this issue.

I believe you have an insect, one of the Woolly Adelgids. Your tree may not be healthy because of the insect, the growing conditions, or it may be a type of tree poorly adapted to our climate. I recommend you hire a certified arborist to make a site visit, identify your tree, and discuss treatment or removal options. Find a certified arborist:

Thank you Jacki. I apologize for the late reply. Attached are additional photos. I will contact an arborist. Any additional insight based on the photos is appreciated. Many thanks.

This is an alpine fir tree with a heavy infestation of balsam woolly adelgid. This is an insect rather than a fungus.
The tree isn't native to the valleys of western Oregon, and when grown here is stressed and often succumbs to pests or disease. Treatment is expensive and since the tree won't grow well here, homeowners generally remove them.
Here is some information about the insect, and though it is about Fraser Firs in forested areas, the general life cycle and treatment information may interest you.