Diseases Diseases

About Spruce Tree Diseases


Spruce trees can be afflicted by a variety of diseases. While some spruce tree diseases can be quite common, there are others that aren’t seen quite as often. Some diseases attack the needles of the tree. Others may attack the trunk and roots of spruce trees.

Spruce Tree Diseases That Attack the Needles

It is not uncommon to see a spruce tree in poor shape with its needles turning brown and appearing to be totally dead. Sometimes in the late summer or early fall, the needles have been known to turn dark brown in color. Some of the needles may even have a slight purple colored cast to them. It’s not uncommon for these trees to be suffering from a fungal disease called Rhizosphaera. This generally happens to a spruce tree during its growth season.

The new growth on the spruce tree may not always be affected so it’s sometimes possible that the tree will survive. Protective sprays can be used that will help this disease spread to other trees.

Another fungal disease that is more prominent in spruces trees in certain areas of the United States is Setomelanomma holmii. This disease can cause the needles to just fall off of the tree. The fungus grows in round black spores on stems and buds of spruce trees. You cannot always see this spruce tree disease with the naked eye, although it is clearly visible under microscopic examination.

Those are two of the more common types of fungal diseases in spruce trees that have the capability of attacking the needles and spreading to other trees. There are also diseases that attack the trunk and root system of spruce trees.

Spruce Tree Diseases That Attack the Root System and Trunk

Root systems of spruce trees can be attacked by diseases too. There is a disease by the name of Tomentosus Root Rot that can cause the trunk and root of the spruce tree to become like honeycomb. This can cause the tree growth to become stunted and usually manifests itself by causing the roots and trunk to become a reddish-brown color. Oftentimes you can mulch around the tree which will help prevent the disease from entering wounds that could be caused by mowing or weed eating around the tree.

Another type of root rot in spruce trees is a disease called Armillaria. This disease can cause the needles to become yellow or brown in color. The lower trunk and root system of the spruce tree will also begin to decay if this disease is present. If you peel back a piece of bark towards the bottom of the tree and notice some white fan-shaped fungus spores, it’s most likely the tree is suffering from this disease. It is generally not effective to spray fungicides because this disease seems to be unaffected by those efforts. The best way to eliminate the disease is to remove all diseased trees and stumps within the area.

While spruce trees are susceptible to different diseases, not all of the diseases will cause the tree to die. More information about spruce tree diseases, prevention and care can be found at www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spruce. 

Tips and Comments

Most spruce tree diseases can be prevented or cured. 

By Susan Hill, published at 04/03/2012
   Rating: 4/5 (11 votes)
About Spruce Tree Diseases. 4 of 5 based on 11 votes.