Evergreen tree resistant from needlecast disease

Asked October 3, 2019, 10:53 AM EDT

I would like to know what would be a good evergreen to plant to help screen my home from my neighbors. I live in Washtenaw county and many of my neighbors evergreen trees are dying from needle cast diseases. We were planning to plant some Norway spruce trees to help screen our house from the neighbors, but it appears that Norway spruce can also get needle cast problems. I am looking for advice on something that can grow to be 18-20 feet or taller and is evergreen year round for screening purposes, but is also hardy against the current needlecast problems in the area. Thank you for your help.

Washtenaw County Michigan

1 Response

Unfortunately, there are a number of pests (disease and insects) that affect trees. The likelihood of having success with any tree can be improved by choosing trees that are correct for you site. Key site factors for conifers are full sunlight, good air movement and excellent soil drainage. Avoid planting highly susceptible species in low or shady areas where humidity and moisture remain high for prolonged periods. Follow proper planting practices. Don’t plant trees to close together. This will minimize moisture retention on the foliage and will decrease the likelihood of disease development. When planting new trees in the landscape, space them to allow for optimum air circulation and sunlight penetration into the trees interior. Plan for the mature size of the tree(s) when spacing plants, or plan to remove trees as they begin to intermingle lower branches. Follow proper irrigation practices; keep water off the foliage.

Minimize stress to the trees by water during periods of drought. Control weeds and other vegetation from encroaching around the base of trees to encourage air circulation among and light penetration to the lower branches.

If you can tell me more about your site (soil, drainage, etc.) and if you had a soil test to look at the pH we can make better recommendations. Here is a link to a publication to look at some options. https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/alternative_conifers_for_michigan_landscapes