Blue Spruce losing needles

Asked November 1, 2018, 9:44 AM EDT

Dear Expert,
Our Blue Spruces have been shedding needles from the inside of the tree. The needles are still on the tip of the branches, the shedding is starting from the bottom up toward the outside. One tree had white nodules which we clipped and disposed of. The other trees do not show any other signs of disease or distress. Is this normal? Is this caused by the excessive rain? We have pretty well draining soil (decomposing slate) and put the mulch in a circle away from the tree trunk. Also, some of the trees had spider mites which we had do spray last year and early this year in the spring. Anything we need to do? Thanks!
Thanks and best regards,

Frederick County Maryland

1 Response

Blue spruce trees are not the easiest to grow here. They are really out of their range, become stressed and don't do well over time.
It looks like yours has a needle cast disease called Rhizosphaeria.

It is controllable/preventable if trees are sprayed with a fungicide like Daconil starting in spring when the needles first start to expand, and repeated every 10-14 days until mid-June.
We are not sure this is really feasible, but it's up to you.
The bare branches at the base will not recover, and as the tree becomes larger you would have to hire a professional to get coverage.