Issue with Blue Spruce

Asked July 30, 2019, 1:39 PM EDT

Ken Ratzlaff has an issue with his blue spruce dying from the ground up. He is unsure of the age and it sits approximately 40 feet from the road and no construction has been done nearby. He has not applied any herbicide or fungicide.

Van Buren County Michigan

1 Response

Hello,

Blue spruce are growing here out of their natural range. Michigan’s humid weather seems to encourage a number of needlecast and other diseases and pests. As a result at a certain age, usually when trees are mature, you see them decline from these issues.

Here are some articles that discuss this-

https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/cpr/forestry/needle-cast-diseases-of-spruce-diagnosis-and-treatment

https://hort.extension.wisc.edu/articles/rhizosphaera-needle-cast/

https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/what_is_spruce_decline_and_what_should_you_do_about_it

To get a precise diagnosis, there are two options:

1- submit samples to https://pestid.msu.edu

2- Hire a certified arborist, a professional who has taken training in care, diseases, pests and passed certification tests. He/she will come on site and give a complete diagnosis and a plant care plan. Find certified arborists by zip code here—-

www.treesaregood.org

Eventually the tree will need to be replaced. Here are some suggested trees that are similar to blue spruce but so not have the problems.

https://www.canr.msu.edu/uploads/files/Alternatives_to_blue_spruce_BertCregg.pdf

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