Well-timed sprays in the spring had suppressed Rhizopshaera to non-detectable levels in the population of trees. To contact an expert in your area, visit https://extension.msu.edu/experts, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464). Also, the Stigmina fruiting bodies called sporodochia look like little spiders while the Rhizosphaera fruiting bodies look like smooth bowling balls. We have seen this same fungus on blue spruce needles in Michigan for the past few years, but it had not been found often and certainly was not found as abundant as either Rhizosphaera kalkhoffii, a fungal pathogen known to cause Rhizosphaera needle cast disease or Setomelanomma a fungus with an unknown role in diseases of spruce. Current year needles were not affected. The casting needles were year two and year three needles. This summer we began to see more Stigmina on blue spruce than in previous years. MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. High powered magnification is required to differentiate between the two. The 4-H Name and Emblem have special protections from Congress, protected by code 18 USC 707. Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Dennis Fulbright, Michigan State University Extension, Department of Plant Pathology - Another key characteristic of needl… ​While Stigmina is found on a variety of forest and landscape spruce species, blue and white spruce are most commonly infected in southern New England. The second and third year needles were turning purple or brown, dying and dropping off the stems. Pay attention to the shapes of the Rhizosphaera and Stigmina fruiting bodies because at first they can look like each other. This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. However, by mid-summer 2008, it looked as if the trees had a needle cast disease on the lower branches. Needle rust Year-old needles are cast after turning rust colored in the spring. Michigan State University Extension programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran status. The classic symptoms of needle cast include brownish purple discoloration and eventual death of older needles, while current-year needles show no symptoms (Figure 1). Stigmina found associated with needle cast on blue spruce in Michigan Dennis Fulbright, Michigan State University Extension, Department of Plant Pathology - September 19, 2008 Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. This information is for educational purposes only. Symptoms of stigmina needle cast are almost identical to those of rhizosphaera needle cast. Keep in mind, there is a look a-like disease called stigmina needle cast. MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer, committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce and inclusive culture that encourages all people to reach their full potential. Connect with Nature: Sign up for the “Conservation Talk” webinar series. Damage typically starts on the lower branches and moves up the tree affecting susceptible spruce trees … While we do not know much about Stigmina, we now know that what controls Rhizosphaera does not control Stigmina because either the fungicide could not handle Stigmina, or the timing of the fungicide was not appropriate for Stigmina. Needle cast diseases cause spruce trees to “cast off” their older needles and keep only the young needles at the tips of the branches. To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit https://extension.msu.edu/newsletters. This was the largest amount of Stigmina on blue spruce we have seen in the state. Two needle cast diseases occur in North Dakota: Rhizosphaera needle cast and Stigmina needle cast. Jeffrey W. Dwyer, Director, MSU Extension, East Lansing, MI 48824. The tree becomes unattractive and may look as though it is dying, but don’t despair. Under the higher magnification in the lab, the fruiting bodies were obviously not Rhizosphaera, but Stigmina. Similarities and differences between the two diseases exist. Symptoms of both needle cast diseases look similar to each other. If you have been spraying with chlorothalonil-based fungicides and not finding acceptable control of your blue spruce needle cast problems, you may not have Rhizosphaera needle cast, it might be Stigmina. Stigmina Needle Cast Signs and symptoms of stigmina needle cast. Symptoms progress over the course of 3 years, leading to needle... Disease cycle of stigmina needle cast. This is why accurate … Symptoms of needle cast disease. In the photos you will be able to see typical Rhizosphaera fruiting bodies on blue spruce needles, Setomelanomma fruiting bodies on the stem of blue spruce, not on the needles, and Stigmina on the needles of blue spruce. Early in the spring following initial infection, new spores are produced. For more information, visit https://extension.msu.edu. We will be ready to study this potential new problem on blue spruce in 2009. In the December 2006 issue, the North Dakota State University extension service publication Tree Talk, authors Jim Walla (forest pathologist) and Kasia Kinzer (plant pest diagnostician), NDSU Department of Plant Pathology, report that a fungus, Stigmina lautii had been discovered on spruce in North Dakota. I want to share our 2008 observations with you because this may begin to provide some insights into a new spruce problem and what we may or may not know about it. Reference to commercial products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or bias against those not mentioned. We have not seen needles infected with both Rhizosphaera and Stigmina, yet, but there is nothing that we know of that could rule that out. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Rhizosphaera and Stigmina, the two most common needle cast diseases of spruce trees, are treatable. Management may be similar for these Rhizosphaera spp and Stigmina spp; however effects of fungicides on Stigmina spp have not been thoroughly studied. Well-timed sprays in the spring will normally suppress Rhizosphaera to non-detectable levels in the population of trees.

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