30 yr. old Blue Spruce w yellowing needles #288060 - Ask Extension


30 yr. old Blue Spruce w yellowing needles #288060

Asked October 31, 2015, 12:41 PM EDT

Here are the facts! Tree type, age & height?: Blue spruce, 30 feet or more, about 30 years old Noticed vague problem about one year ago but has worsened significantly Yellowing affecting some needles Getting noticeably worse in last week, significant yellowing of needles came on suddenly Growing conditions?: Full sun, on semi busy road so fumes and some salt/separated from road by sidewalk - see photos Soil problems?: none that we know of Fertilizer spike used annually at drip line. Have been told it MAY be a fungal infection. Tree is sentimental, was a Christmas tree planted when our son was young and it is a screen from the street. We are very vested in preserving the tree.

Baltimore City County Maryland

Expert Response

Unfortunately Colorado blue spruces, as the name suggests, are not native here and struggle with the drought and humidity in Maryland. Naturally, this stresses them more as they get larger and need more water, and consequently they are not long-lived trees in Maryland.  You will notice, if you look at large blue spruces when you are out driving, that many, if not all, are browning from the bottom up.

There are also a couple of diseases that tend to infect stressed blue spruce. Here is a link to our website info: http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/cytospora-canker-spruce  This gives care tips and suggests alternative evergreen choices.  



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