My miniture spruce tree bottom seem to drying out or there maybe some kind of...

Asked May 31, 2020, 2:32 PM EDT

My miniture spruce tree bottom seem to drying out or there maybe some kind of bug effecting the tree it is only on about a foot from the bottom. What can I use to fix the problem.

Mercer County New Jersey

5 Responses

There isn't enough information in your question to fully and accurately answer it. To properly answer it, we would need these things:

1.) Your plant's more specific name.
2.) The growing conditions you've provided for it (your growing climate, soil type, in a pot or in the ground, watering regimen, and amount of sunlight it gets).
3.) The plant's location (where in the country it is planted, what city, county, or town).
4.) Photos. Good clear photos of the plant and a closeup of its ailing parts are worth more than two thousand words.

However, if you have a true spruce (a plant in the genus of Picea) here some things to consider:

1.) Most Picea (spruces) tend to prefer cooler conditions than many parts of the United States can provide. Your question seems to originally come out of Colorado--but which part of Colorado? Northen Colorado may be okay, but many parts of Southern Colorado may not be okay. Long, hot summers cause many species of Picea to become stressed over the years leading them to become ever more susceptible to diseases and pests (particularly spruce bagworm, trunk rot, spider mites, spruce gall aphids, budworms, Cytospora canker, Phytophthora root rot, Pythium root rot, needle blight, tip blight, bark beetles, bud moths, budworms, defoliators, gall aphids, needleminers, scale insects, weevils and borers).
2.) Spruce eventually need ever more space to grow. If your spruce is potted (as is commonly the case for even the very popular Dwarf Alberta Spruce [Picea glauca var. albertiana]) it can only stand being in a pot for so many years before it becomes root-bound, causing stress to the plant and making it more susceptible to diseases and pests.
3.) Spruces tend to prefer moist, well-drained soils (not soggy). Dry soils for long periods of time (even a day or two in very hot weather) can stress some of them--especially potted ones having to endure hot weather.
4.) Some spruces can't tolerate polluted conditions. The damaging results often don't manifest until a few years have passed.
5.) Most spruces prefer full sun (they want exposure to the sun all day long). Too much shade (often less than six hours a day) will stress many species of Picea.

Make sure that you do these things:
(1.) Learn the species of spruce that you have.
(2.) Learn its cultural requirements.
(3.) Provide those cultural requiremens as best as you can.


While you are working to provide the right conditions for your plant, you can then find out what the specific ailment(s) and pest(s) are and what the most effective treatment for them will be.

Some cooperative extensions allow for the public to bring samples of the plant to them to be submitted to the corresponding university's pathology lab for examination. Contact your local cooperative extension for details.

Have a Safe and Great Gardening Week,



There isn't enough information in your question to fully and accurately answer it. To properly answer it, we would need these things:

1.) Your plant's more specific name.
2.) The growing conditions you've provided for it (your growing climate, soil type, in a pot or in the ground, watering regimen, and amount of sunlight it gets).
3.) The plant's location (where in the country it is planted, what city, county, or town).
4.) Photos. Good clear photos of the plant and a closeup of its ailing parts are worth more than two thousand words.

However, if you have a true spruce (a plant in the genus of Picea) here some things to consider:

1.) Most Picea (spruces) tend to prefer cooler conditions than many parts of the United States can provide. Your question seems to originally come out of Colorado--but which part of Colorado? Northen Colorado may be okay, but many parts of Southern Colorado may not be okay. Long, hot summers cause many species of Picea to become stressed over the years leading them to become ever more susceptible to diseases and pests (particularly spruce bagworm, trunk rot, spider mites, spruce gall aphids, budworms, Cytospora canker, Phytophthora root rot, Pythium root rot, needle blight, tip blight, bark beetles, bud moths, budworms, defoliators, gall aphids, needleminers, scale insects, weevils and borers).
2.) Spruce eventually need ever more space to grow. If your spruce is potted (as is commonly the case for even the very popular Dwarf Alberta Spruce [Picea glauca var. albertiana]) it can only stand being in a pot for so many years before it becomes root-bound, causing stress to the plant and making it more susceptible to diseases and pests.
3.) Spruces tend to prefer moist, well-drained soils (not soggy). Dry soils for long periods of time (even a day or two in very hot weather) can stress some of them--especially potted ones having to endure hot weather.
4.) Some spruces can't tolerate polluted conditions. The damaging results often don't manifest until a few years have passed.
5.) Most spruces prefer full sun (they want exposure to the sun all day long). Too much shade (often less than six hours a day) will stress many species of Picea.

Make sure that you do these things:
(1.) Learn the species of spruce that you have.
(2.) Learn its cultural requirements.
(3.) Provide those cultural requiremens as best as you can.


While you are working to provide the right conditions for your plant, you can then find out what the specific ailment(s) and pest(s) are and what the most effective treatment for them will be.

Some cooperative extensions allow for the public to bring samples of the plant to them to be submitted to the corresponding university's pathology lab for examination. Contact your local cooperative extension for details.

Have a Safe and Great Gardening Week,

I am including photos of the tree I know you are much better than I am at recognizing type of Tree and damage. please help. I don't want to lose it.

Good Morning,

Thank you for the photos, but they don’t show the extent of the plant damage over the entire spruce as well. Also the questions regarding the cultural conditions you have given the spruce over the years haven’t been answered. Without that information, it is very hard to give a specific recommendation.

To reduce the risk of losing your spruce, I recommend that you do these things:

1.) Heed the recommendations that I made in my earlier post to you regarding the horticultural conditions and care that is needed by spruces. Most spruce ailments stem from the stress they experience when their specific cultural requirements regarding soil, sun, water, and temperature aren't being met.

2.) Flatly lay a piece of clean white paper under an affected branch, tap the branch, and look for little moving specks (possibly red ones). If you see them moving or, if you crush them and see a brown streak, they are spruce spider mites. If their damage takes up a significant amount of the plant, there is little that can be done to save the plant. If the infestation is small, Neem Oil, Insecticidal Soap, Dormant Oil, Soybean Oil, or Sulfur should be used to thoroughly spray on your spruce. Again, this will not be effective if the infestation is significant.

3.) If you have used herbicides, cleaning products, hot water, rock salt or other deicers near your spruce in the past year or two, this can also damage it. Spruces tend not to tolerate contact with chemicals. Avoid using chemicals near your spruces.

4.) Make a serious effort to contact your local cooperative extension to ask if a sample can be submitted for formal diagnosis of your plant's ailment. Once you have an accurate diagnosis, the correct immediate treatment can be recommended to you. But remember that, if the plant's cultural requirements aren't being met in the first place, the ailment (and other ailments) will remain and/or return. Here is the website for the Cooperative Extension (Rutgers University) for the state of New Jersey: https://njaes.rutgers.edu/county/.


Have a Great Gardening Week,