What Kills Blue Spruce Trees In Michigan?

You’ll see blue spruce trees all over Michigan. Why? Their blue foliage and good growth rate make them favorites to plant here. But Michigan’s hot, humid climate also makes them susceptible to disease. 

So, here’s what you should look for and what you can do to decrease the risk.

Common Blue Spruce Diseases

If your needles are shedding, your tree may be infected with a needlecast disease. As it works its way through the tree, its needles will die. You typically won’t see the damage until the following growing season.

Fungal diseases can cause a tree to lose needles on new shoots, while older needles remain healthy. 

Tip blights attack the underlying wood of the tree. This will cause branches or the trunk to die.

Signs Your Tree Is Diseased

According to the Michigan State University Extension, branch dieback is the most noticeable symptom. The lower branches will turn brown first. The dieback then progresses up the tree over the course of two to four years.

Insects That Attack Spruce Trees

Keep in mind that it’s not just diseases that wreak havoc on blue spruce trees. Insects can cause plenty of damage, too blue spruce tree

Gall adelgids literally suck the life out of the branches of the spruce by drawing plant sap through them. Spruce spider mites, on the other hand, can discolor and eventually destroy spruce needles.

Also, Watch Where You Plant

The landscapes the trees are planted in may also lead to their demise. Blue spruce performs best on moist, well-drained loam to sandy loam soils with a pH of 6.0 – 7.5 and full sunlight.

Protecting Your Spruce Trees

Fungicides can help keep needlecast diseases from spreading. But it may require applications over the course of two to three years, for the treatment to be effective. 

But if the fungicide doesn’t work, the best treatment may be to remove the affected branches.

Safari Tree Care Program

If you think your tree is in trouble, Safari Tree experts can diagnose and treat your blue spruce trees. We can provide a wide range of treatments, from injections to sprays, depending on the severity. 

For more information on preventing and treating needle cast infections and all other tree diseases, contact us today.