blue spruce damage

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Big Bad Bob, Jul 27, 2007.

  1. Big Bad Bob

    Big Bad Bob LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 5
    Posts: 1,074

    these are 5' blue spruce. the homeowner is accusing me of damaging them. we never run the mowers into the branches. i always line trim under the drip line. i never tear into the branches as is alleged. what is causing the bottom branches to lose needles and turn brown. it is occurring up to 1' from the ground in spots. what might cause this? deer damage??? it has been very dry here for the last month. the h.o. says they water them regularly.

    bspruce1.jpg

    bspruce2.jpg
     
  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Ok. you see how these branches have needles right at the end of them, but needles are gone further up? This is a tell-tale sign of one of the most common ailments of blue spruce (and many other spruce) trees. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can really do about it now. You tell your customer that he has aphid damage. Some people think it is rabbit damage (they cause damage too, but different), but it is not. You can go out in mid-winter (when these type aphids are active), and take a white piece of paper, hold it underneath and tap the branch. They will fall onto the paper, and you will see them. They are very small and a medium to dark green in color. They should be treated then. The thing is, is that your weather conditions have to be right. It needs to be clear and dry, and not much wind. Both the tops and bottoms of the branches should be treated. The best things to use is an oil or soap, (horticultural insecticidal), but the oils have a tendency to discolor the needles a bit. This is not permanent, though. I will try to find some info on this and maybe post a link or something for you. The lower branches will recover.
     
  3. Big Bad Bob

    Big Bad Bob LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 5
    Posts: 1,074

    thanks. any information you can provide will be appreciated. i will try to find some info too.
    these aphids are active in the winter? what is the temperature range when they are active as in mid winter it gets very cold. i am in the midwest but a bit south of you. it gets well below zero in the mid winter here.
    thanks. you guys make me look like a genius to my customers. :) i learn something new everyday on this site.
     
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

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