The Q&A Archives: spruce tree burned on on side

Question: We were away for over 3 weeks in May of this year and when we returned 1 of 4 Dwarf Alberta Spruce (picea glauca conica) was scorched or burned on one side. The sprinklers were on minimum and the remaining 3 alberta spruce, petunia and begonias planted in the same garden show no damage. What could cause this and what can be done to prevent this from happening again??? We did notice that while we were away that there were dog remains in the yard. However, this particular alberta spruce did have twin peaks to indicate a split? could this be the problem or a disease?? Thanks, Frank

Answer: BAsed on your description I am not certain what has happened to your dwarf Alberta spruce. Discoloration on one side can be caused by a dog urinating on it repeatedly, but it can also be caused by a corresponding stem or branch (or roots) being damaged, by accidental herbicide contact (eg weed and feed from a rotary spreader) or by a disease or insect problem. I would suggest you work with your county extension to determine what has happened or is happening to the tree and based on knowing that, decide how to proceed. They may appreciate some overall and close up photos. Good luck with your tree.

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