In Your Garden: Spruce Tree Disease

It's something we're starting to hear more about this time of year: Spruce trees. We're starting to see more damage to them. The canker disease and the needle drop disease are really starting to take hold. Needle cast is a fungus that attacks in late May and causes needles to turn brown and fall off and gives tree a hollow look. It is treatable. You should spray it during the last few weeks of May and then again later with a fungicide. That will keep the tree nice and full.

If you notice entire branches dying what you have is canker. It's a fungus that causes entire braches to die slowly. You can tell you have it by the sap that is dripping around the branches, right where you need to cut them off.

The Blue spruces are ones where we see problems the most and it's really a gorgeous landscape tree. It's a great habitat for wildlife, great wind break, so we really do want to keep them in our landscaping. There are three things to pay attention to in order to monitor your spruce. The first is to site the tree properly. It needs 6 to 8 hours of sun and good air movement. Also, make sure you mulch the tree to hold moisture, as that is what causes stress. And if we have a hot summer, add water to your tree to help them get through.

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