The Q&A Archives: Disappearing Needles On White Spruce

Question: While checking my white spruce trees, I have discovered many branches with all of the needles stripped and just a stub left. It appears to be dying in that particular area. Could it be some kind of pest this time of the year?

Answer: Some needle browning and drop are normal in the fall and winter for spruces and pines. What you describe does not sound like normal shedding. There are a number of insects, such as spruce budworm, that can cause that type of damage on spruces. I suggest that you take a sample of the brown tips to your local nursery or Cooperative Extension Service office (ph# 502/477-2217) for identification and a suggested control. If you're interested in a low-impact or organic control option, be sure to make that clear. Sorry I couldn't be of more direct help!

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