White Fir Trees Dying

Asked June 25, 2019, 10:51 AM EDT

We had a client call in wondering why his 6 White Fir (Abies Concolor) trees are dying. They are all turning brown and the problem is sporadic. It does not necessarily happen on any particular side of the tree and it doesn't seem to start at the top or the bottom. Once the needles start turning brown, the trees die rather quickly (1 year or so). The trees are about 15 years old and the problem has started in the last couple years. He is unable to send in photos at this time.

Alpena County Michigan fir trees needles turning brown

1 Response

Concolor fir has been reasonably hardy throughout Michigan and has been touted as a replacement for spruce affected by spruce decline, especially blue spruce, which has been rampant throughout the state. A fungal issue has developed however for concolor firs and you can read more here:
https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/interior_needles_casting_in_concolor_fir

Also, concolor fir can be especially problematic for desiccation from winters drying winds when the trees can't take up water in frozen soils, trees that do not go dormant but still need life giving water and nutrients.

The trees need to be assessed by a professional onsite , namely a Certified Arborist, one who specializes in everything woody. You can find one or more
Certified Arborists in your zip code at www.treesaregood.com Click on the Find an Arborist tab. Arborist evaluations are not expensive but important in determining exactly what is going on in clients trees.

Good luck!