It is most common in trees growing outside of their native range. Early identification of Rhizosphaera can prevent major damage to individual trees and prevent the spread to nearby trees. The fungal pathogen, Rhizosphaera kalkhoffii, is responsible for needle cast of spruce species.This disease has been detrimental to Christmas tree plantations, especially those in eastern U.S.A., and to spruce trees in nurseries and landscapes outside of their native range. 1. It is caused by a group of fungi in the genus Rhizosphaera. Infected needles first appear mottled or speckled with dull yellowish blotches. Blue spruce in Michigan suffers from a serious needle casting disease caused by the fungus Rhizosphaera. Having said that, prevention of infection is key—fungicide treatments may have little or no curative effect. Rhizosphaera needle cast is a foliar disease that occurs worldwide on a diverse range of conifers. Fertilize with Arbor Green PRO to invigorate plant growth. Symptoms usually begin on the inner and lowest portions of the tree and progress upward. Older, inner needles show symptoms first. Stigmina and Rhizosphaera Needle Cast in Trees These diseases primarily affect blue spruce. On Colorado blue spruce, infected needles often show symptoms of yellow mottling in mid-to-late summer. Begin treatment with a registered fungicide in spring at half-needle elongation. Many spruce species, such as Colorado blue and Engelmann spruce are highly susceptible; white spruce is intermediate in susceptibility. Rake up and dispose of fallen needles. It is caused by a group of fungi in the genus Rhizosphaera. This disease is found throughout the northern hemisphere. Precise timing is necessary for this method to help, since protection of new growth is the motivation for spraying. Spruce tree rhizosphaera needle cast diease treatment. It most commonly affects Colorado Blue Spruce but can infect other Spruce species. Fungicide treatments Rhizosphaera needle cast is the most common disease on spruce trees that is received in the Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic. Trees stressed from drought, poor planting practices or other factors are more likely to suffer from Rhizosphaera needle cast. Tree Service Experts Since 1880. Rhizosphaera needle cast causes needles to turn brown, or in the case of the Colorado blue spruce, a purplish-brown, and fall from the tree prematurely (Figure 1). Davey uses cookies to make your experience a great one by providing us analytics so we can offer you the most relevant content. Tiny fruiting bodies of the Rhizosphaera fungus protrude through the stomata of the infected needles. We have been told by a licensed arborist that they are suffering from rhizosphaera needle cast diease and spider mites. How to treat or prevent Rhizosphaera needle cast. Rhizosphaera needle cast is a very significant disease of landscape, nursery and plantation conifers. Rhizosphaera and Stigmina, the two most common needle cast diseases of spruce trees, are treatable. Chemical Management of Rhizosphaera needle cast When all other management is not enough, fungicides can be used to help manage rhizosphaera needle cast. Cool, rainy weather or long periods of leaf wetness provide conditions for disease development. Rhizosphaera needle cast is a fungal disease of spruce trees that causes needles to turn brown and fall off. Management & Treatment Options Prune out severely affected branches. Deep root water during periods of drought. This disease is … As the disease progresses, newer needles will exhibit symptoms. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies. Asked January 26, 2017, 5:53 PM EST. During wet weather in late spring, spores are released from these fruiting bodies and are rain splashed onto newly developing needles where infection occurs and the disease cycle is repeated. You can have your tree looking lush and beautiful again within a few years by following a program of needle cast treatment. Severely infected trees may hold only the current year's needles; whereas, a healthy spruce will retain needles 5 to 7 years. Rhizosphaera needle cast is caused by fungal pathogens within the genus Rhizosphaera. Rhizosphaera needle cast is caused by the fungus, Rhizosphaera kalkhoffii. Davey uses cookies to make your experience a great one by providing us analytics so we can offer you the most relevant content. Before planting, check suspect needles for fruiting bodies by following the method outlined above. Treat spruce for Pine Needle Scale using Transtect™. Under epidemic conditions, lower branches may be killed by this fungus. Recommended treatment for needle cast disease of spruce trees (rhizosphaera) typically is a spray treatment in May with one or two follow -up sprays. We have approximately 36 spruce trees with various degrees of needle loss and discoloration. However, in some plantations needle casting symptoms still occur after sprays (Photos 1 and 2). Colorado blue spruce and Engelmann spruce most susceptible 2. Under a hand lens, these stomata appear as fuzzy black spots instead of their usual healthy white color. Protecting new growth as it emerges is very important. Treatment Strategy. Rhizosphaera starts on the inner and lower growth and progresses upward through the tree. Maintain tree health, and monitor for any disease/insect problems. During the spring, we’ll spray the tree with a copper-containing fungicide designed to keep the rhizosphaera … White spruce occasionally susceptible Rhizosphaera needle cast infects needles on the lower branches first and gradually progresses up the tree. Treating Rhizosphaera Needle Cast should always be done by a professional arborist. At M&M Tree Care, we’ll treat the tree for the fungus over the course of two years. Consider treating affected trees with fungicides containing the active ingredient copper (e.g., Bordeaux mixture) or chlorothalonil. Rhizosphaera needle cast (Rhizosphaera kalkhoffii) is a foliar disease of spruce trees. Needle Cast on Spruce trees is generally first evident on the innermost needles in the lower canopy. This genus also infects several conifer species including; fir, cedar, spruce, and pine. View our. Two year old needles turn yellowish brown to purple in mid-summer. A healthy spruce will retain its needles 5 to 7 years, whereas a spruce severely infected with Rhizosphaera needle cast may hold only the current year's needles. Follow label rates and frequency for the product of choice. Rhizosphaera needle cast is best managed using a combination of methods: Plant only disease-free plants. Infected needles with rows of fruiting bodies (pycnidia) protruding through the stomates. Deep root water during periods of drought. In late summer, needles yellow, then turn purple-brown, dropping by late autumn. , Jim Casey Joins Rainbow as a Territory Manager, 2-3 applications beginning at bud break and continue every 14 days until full needle extension. A disease that causes needle damage on spruce trees Rhizosphaera needle cast is a foliage disease of spruce trees. It can take up to 15 months for the needles to show visible symptoms after the initial infection. by contacting your local certified arborist. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies. Infected needles of other plant species usually become off-green, later turning to tan or brown. All Rights Reserved. Treatments will not cure existing infections, but can prevent additional infections. How do I save a tree or shrub with Rhizosphaera needle cast? Tiny fruiting bodies (pycnidia) protrude through the stomata of the infected needles. For best effectiveness, fungicides should be applied when the emerging needles are half elongated (1/2 to 2 inches in length). Branches that lose first-year needles for 3 to 4 consecutive years may die. This pattern holds true for most needle diseases on conifers and is the result of more favorable conditions for disease development near the ground.

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