Browning of Fraser firs

Asked October 11, 2020, 11:57 AM EDT

I have three Fraser fir that the needles are turning brown on the inside of the trees . This condition is expanding outward on the limbs. Is this a fungus problem or something else. Is there any treatment for this. Attached is an image of one of the trees thank you

Sanilac County Michigan

1 Response


Fraser fir is native to mountainous locations south of Michigan which receive more rainfall than does Michigan, on average, and have cooler more humid climates. As a result the Fraser fi is more easily stressed by heat and water stress.

There are several things that cause current year’s needles to brown and fall off: drought stress( we have had a dry summer- did you deeply water around all trees?), rust disease, spider mites, herbicide drift, heat stress( especially if all affected branches are near pavement such as a sidewalk, road, brick building or driveway)

To get an exact diagnosis you have a couple options.

Email the MSU Plant and Pest Diagnostic lab a picture of the trees taken far enough back to show them from top to bottom, along with these closeups. Email is If thy need a branch sample sent to the lab they will contact you. There is a fee for the service.

See the web site for fee schedule and instructions-

You can 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—-

In any case, it is a good idea to deeply water all your evergreens now, before the ground freezes. It is important they go into winter well hydrated, and it will help them recover next spring if they can. Dig a small hole after irrigating- soil should be moist about 8 inches down.