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Pythium
09-11-2009, 12:38 PM
I have a customer who has a Blue Spruce that the new growth is turning a purplish/brown color. Not all the new growth, just some of it, and it is scattered in no real pattern around the 7' tall tree. It looks similiar to Rhizosphaera needle cast, but it is the new growth not older and all over the tree. They have two other spruces that have NO damage. No evidence of mites either.
All three trees were treated with bifenthrin about 5 weeks ago. I can't find any sensitivity issues with spruces and bifenthrin. I am leaning towards a sensitivity issue since nothing else seems to fit. any thoughts??

tremor
09-11-2009, 01:56 PM
How long is it in the current location?

Have you checked for mites?

Pythium
09-11-2009, 02:22 PM
It has been there 3 years. I did not find any mites. It started to do this after the bifen treatment..which is why I am leaning towards possible sensitivity to it.

gunsnroses
09-11-2009, 02:37 PM
Got pics?
It sounds like lack of water to me..build well, water in with wetting agent + mulch. Probe it and check it out

Hissing Cobra
09-11-2009, 05:28 PM
Have you checked for Spruce Tip weevils? Generally, they attack the top center leader of the tree (the branch that you would put an angel on if you were to decorate the tree at Christmas) but I've seen them attack other areas as well. You'll see browning on the needles and then holes in the woody part of the branches.

If the Bifenthrin was sprayed on a hot day, there could be some phytotoxicicity taking place.

tremor
09-11-2009, 05:38 PM
Pythium,

What rate was the Bifen that you suspect phyto?

Pythium
09-11-2009, 07:18 PM
.5oz/m rate of bifen. I will check into the weevils. I didn't probe the soil, but these people water the daylights out of their plants (despite my efforts to convince they don't need daily watering in our area NE OHIO) Could It be from being too wet?

Pythium
09-11-2009, 07:21 PM
My rate shouldn't have caused any phyto reaction and the other two spruces are fine. I told them I will keep an eye on it.
The only other thing I can possibly think of is herbicide volitization near the tree. none of the needles curled however.
I don't have pics. But may be able to get some Monday.

americanlawn
09-11-2009, 07:29 PM
Need pics and background regarding soil type, soil drainage, sun exposure, and when/how all trees were planted. I sincerely doubt that an insecticide would have any ill effects. More like transplant shock/root damage/poor planting techniques, etc. Keep in mind that no two trees are the same. So many variables, cuz this tree may have had existing probs when it was transplanted to it's new location. Keep in mind that all trees in the pine family (pines, firs, spruces) prefer a well-drained soil with full sun.

Need pics & detailed info to make a "guess", and that ain't the best thing unless one personally examines the tree.

RigglePLC
09-11-2009, 10:28 PM
I am with Hissing cobra on this one. If it is scattered--and only one tree of 3 sprayed--not likely spray damage. Check for insects in the stem below the dead area. You may need a tree expert for this. Bartlett maybe.

gunsnroses
09-12-2009, 12:52 AM
You may figure it out if you end up taking it down....cut the trunk and smell it, it may smell fermented and that may indicate cytospera, you may also see darker tree rings. Be careful not to prune those trees without disenfecting blades after cuts to be sure. You could look for IPS beetle toward the top of the tree, but they usually attack bigger trees. Ips as well as many other insects and diseases of trees...they are usually a secondary problem. New growth with problems is not a good sign, usually new growth is last to go in a defensive mode......it may be too late. Is it even red color tips all over or does it seem worse bottom or top? I would guess lack of water if it is irrigated with rotors or sprays from a distance, what happens is the natural umbrella shape sheds the water to the outside and away from the rootball....and the bed of needles under the tree is a second layer to clear....you really have to soak them deep. I agree with Mr Riggles and get a look at the stem or bark. In a natural environment you see the best and biggest spruces stream or riverside. You guys in Ohio are a bit under rainfall...No? Why did you spray...whats your target? You may wonder why a Sc guy is giving info on a spruce...I lived out west for 15 yrs.

Smallaxe
09-12-2009, 07:55 AM
Check for ant colonies or some other soil related problem.

Kiril
09-12-2009, 09:38 AM
Some biotic possibilities

Rhizosphaera Needle Cast (due to reported color)

Phytophthora Root Rot (due to reported water issues)

Cytospora canker (due to reported water issues)

Some abiotic possibilities:

Potassium deficiency


In all cases the watering issues would be the first thing I would address as this is quite likely causing the problems. Gradually start backing off the water.

Pythium
09-12-2009, 01:18 PM
Thanks all, I will look further for insects, and drainage/watering issues. This guy is a great customer, so I really want to be on top of this for him. I will keep posted as I find more. I will go take a better assessment on Monday.

Pythium
09-14-2009, 01:16 PM
Picture of tree

Pythium
09-14-2009, 01:17 PM
Close up of limb. I dug around the tree and the soil was bone dry. I recommended he get some water to it ASAP.

heritage
09-14-2009, 09:28 PM
Picture of tree

Pales Weevil.

Do a search online.

Too late to treat this year.

Pete

Pythium
09-15-2009, 06:55 AM
Thanks I will look that up.

garydale
09-16-2009, 02:44 PM
I just ran across this piece on:

Purple Needles on Spruce Trees

By Mary Small, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, Urban

The appearance of purple spruce needles usually points to root dehydration. If the damage appears during the winter or early spring, it's probably the result of winter injury.

All spruce trees, but especially those growing in or near lawns, need water during the dry fall and winter months. This keeps the needles hydrated and healthy. Other factors can dehydrate spruce roots and should be considered when diagnosing the problem. For example, de-icing salts and excess fertilizer can also cause or contribute to the off-color because they dehydrate roots. A girdled root cuts off or reduces the amount of water reaching the needles, causing purple needles. Any activity that damages spruce roots (like trenching or digging) also prevents them from absorbing water well, producing the off-color.

heritage
09-16-2009, 03:30 PM
I just ran across this piece on:

Purple Needles on Spruce Trees

By Mary Small, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, Urban

The appearance of purple spruce needles usually points to root dehydration. If the damage appears during the winter or early spring, it's probably the result of winter injury.

All spruce trees, but especially those growing in or near lawns, need water during the dry fall and winter months. This keeps the needles hydrated and healthy. Other factors can dehydrate spruce roots and should be considered when diagnosing the problem. For example, de-icing salts and excess fertilizer can also cause or contribute to the off-color because they dehydrate roots. A girdled root cuts off or reduces the amount of water reaching the needles, causing purple needles. Any activity that damages spruce roots (like trenching or digging) also prevents them from absorbing water well, producing the off-color.

Hi Garydale,

I think with this tree, the "Flagging" was the giveaway that it was Mr Pales Weevil.

If you turn to page 56 in the book, "Insects That Feed On Trees and Shrubs" 2nd edition by Johnson and Lyon, Read down to the part...."Twigs may be girdled, and if so needles die distal ti the girdle, producing a flag of RED Needles."


What you discribe I see on entire halfs of trees, and entire spruce trees.


Just my opinoin and exp here in Central Jersey.

Pete

hughmcjr
09-16-2009, 04:53 PM
I live in Oregon and we have many people that have Colorado Blue SPruce here in the valley, but they probably are better off not having them. That variety of spruce and noble firs naturally grow at higher elevations. They struggle at lower elevations and become more susceptible to disease and bugs. First the disease starts and weakens the tree then the bugs move in. It is almost never the case the bugs are just there on their own and if they are again it is most likely because the tree is not native to the area, not meant to be there and therefore pests begin doing what nature does, righting mans wrongs.

I am not a tree expert, but the above is personal experience, talking to customers and doing some research with respect to Colorado BLue Spruce. I also am basing this on talking to tree farmers, who grow noble firs and will tell you nobles struggle at lower elevations, since Oregon is XMas tree capital of the world. And don't believe that crap about Indiana county PA or North Carolina, not even close as they are self proclaimed. :laugh:

gunsnroses
09-16-2009, 11:34 PM
Gary is on it :waving: If it was a weevil chewing the stem, the stem would be dead (flag). The purple needles seem still attached and contain moisture. I bet they will hang on until spring. It seems that tree is fairly new...they will strange things for the first 2 or 3 years. Mulch it and winter water like the article says

Pythium
09-17-2009, 03:04 PM
I see no evidence of insect feeding on the stems or branches. I think it is dehydration, the soil is very dry around the tree. He is using two rotary lawn sprinklers to try and water it. I offered to pull a hose out there for him (his is elderly and can't manage this himself) but he declined. So I will keep an eye on it for him and pray for rain.

mdlwn1
09-17-2009, 04:54 PM
I live in Oregon and we have many people that have Colorado Blue SPruce here in the valley, but they probably are better off not having them. That variety of spruce and noble firs naturally grow at higher elevations. They struggle at lower elevations and become more susceptible to disease and bugs. First the disease starts and weakens the tree then the bugs move in. It is almost never the case the bugs are just there on their own and if they are again it is most likely because the tree is not native to the area, not meant to be there and therefore pests begin doing what nature does, righting mans wrongs.

I am not a tree expert, but the above is personal experience, talking to customers and doing some research with respect to Colorado BLue Spruce. I also am basing this on talking to tree farmers, who grow noble firs and will tell you nobles struggle at lower elevations, since Oregon is XMas tree capital of the world. And don't believe that crap about Indiana county PA or North Carolina, not even close as they are self proclaimed. :laugh:


All true....too bad retail , homeowners, and the donkey herd of landscapers dont know this...