Pine tree is turning brown.

Asked October 17, 2020, 1:01 PM EDT

I'm actually not sure if my tree is a pine or a spruce. I will attach a pic of a cone which might help you identify it along with how the needles look. The tree is very large and over 50 years old. All of a sudden the needles are turning brown throughout the tree, especially on the ends of the limbs and all the way to the top of the tree. In 15 years I've never seen this with this tree. I'm concerned it's diseased, dying.

Oakland County Michigan

1 Response


The tree in the picture is a Colorado Blue Spruce, (Picea pungens) and I’m sorry to say that it does appear to have many problems. Colorado blue spruce are susceptible to several diseases and are attacked by many insects. .

I’m attaching an article by Professor Bert Cregg of MSU which explains all the problems that these trees have, why they have them and what you can do about them.

To obtain a diagnosis of which problem your tree has, you could submit a sample to the Plant and Pest Diagnostic Lab at MSU at:

To decide how serious the damage is and whether the tree should be treated, I suggest that you contact a certified arborist at: , the website of the International Society of Arboriculture to find an arborist in your area.

Good luck with your tree.

Thank you for contacting Ask an Expert.