Blue Spruce Trees in the Eldersburg, MD area

Asked February 22, 2019, 11:30 AM EST

Over the past couple of years it appears that all of the Blue Spruce Trees are dying in the Southern Carroll County area. I live on Linton Rd. in Eldersburg and every Blue Spruce Tree you see is just about dead. We're probably going to have our 10 remaining trees taken out. What's going on with this or is there any chance of them magically surviving. Thank You.

Carroll County Maryland blue spruce dieback trees

1 Response

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

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. http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/cytospora-canker-spruce

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 http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/evergreen-needle-cast-diseases-trees-and-shrubs

Also, take a look at our blog post on spruce https://marylandgrows.umd.edu/2018/01/08/whats-wrong-with-my-blue-spruce-tree/

mh