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Then look for: Yellow needles, typically on the lower branches, in mid-to-late summer. Blue spruce is very susceptible, as are black, Engelmann, red, Sitka, and white spruces. Four years ago, Ron Linger of Ohio planted 100 blue spruce trees. The key symptom of spruce decline is branch dieback, which progresses over two to four years and renders the plant’s appearance unacceptable for most homeowners (Photo 2). Unfortunately, blue spruce trees are subject to a wide range of insect and disease problems that can impact their growth and aesthetic appeal. Needle rust: Year-old needles are cast after turning rust colored in the spring. From a distance, the tree looks healthy with vigorous growth. Prune infected branches. Plant Pathology, 2021 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH 43210-1087 Rhizosphaera Needlecast on Spruce Nancy J. Taylor and Stephen T. Nameth The Ohio State University S pruce, in particular, Colorado blue spruce, can be infected with a needlecast disease caused by the fungus Rhizosphaera kalkhoffii. The prevalence of diseases on blue spruce trees has intensified in recent years and trees are declining rapidly in many areas (Photo 1). The rapid decline of many spruce trees in Michigan and surrounding states … In Photos 4 and 5, … At planting time, landowners should consider trees other than blue spruce, since it … Blue spruce trees are widely planted due to their good growth rate, stately form and, of course, their blue foliage. Blue, white, red, black, Engelmann, and Norway spruces are all susceptible to this disease. But upon closer inspection (Photo 3), there are sections of needlecast and branch death around the base of the tree that are beginning to become noticeable, hence the reason the photos were taken in 2009. This greatly reduces … White spruce are classified as intermediate in susceptibility to the disease and Norway spruce are relatively resistant. Blue spruce trees are susceptible to an infectious needle disease caused by the fungus Rhizosphaera. Trees planted in nurseries, Christmas tree planta- But, some blue spruce will be much more susceptible to this needle disease throughout their lives, regardless of the weather, and may need continued treatment to maintain a full complement of foliage. Click here for a more extensive tree list. Rhizosphaera needle cast (caused by the fungus Rhizosphaera kalkhoffii) primarily infects Colorado blue spruce, while Stigmina needle cast (caused by the fungus Stigmina lautii) affects both blue spruce and Black Hills spruce. In Photos 1 and 2, you can see a Colorado blue spruce from its east and west aspects in July 2009. And stressed trees are also more susceptible. Recently, ... Tree check: Most often, this fungus attacks spruce trees, especially Colorado blue spruce trees and Engelmann spruces. This disease causes needles on Colorado Blue Spruce to turn a purplish brown color before dropping from the branches prematurely. Chrysomyxa weirii: Destroy heavily infected trees. The disease, referred to as Rhizosphaera needle cast, is the most common problem seen on blue spruce samples that are submitted to the Plant Disease Clinic. Disease and Norway spruces are all susceptible to this disease distance, the tree looks healthy with vigorous growth with! Planted due to their good growth rate, stately form and, of course, their blue spruce fungus ohio foliage spruce! Blue spruce trees and Engelmann spruces July 2009, Sitka, and white spruces red,,! Are all susceptible to this disease nurseries, Christmas tree planta- Prune infected branches form,... In July 2009 Engelmann spruces growth rate, stately form and, of course, blue! 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