The Q&A Archives: dwarf alberta spruce with curling needles, brown needles, no needles and white stuff on stems.

Question: Please help...I've read pages of the FAQ's and I am still puzzled. It seems I may have several problems. I know from reading that spruces are susceptible to mites, gall adelgids and fungi but my symptoms don't seem to fit any of the typical symptoms associated with these. I've ruled out anything to do with sunlight, water, fertilizer and the like and I've been giving it special attention all summer long. Any ideas about what would cause the stem to have white, Styrofoam looking stuff on it? Why the needles are curling up, turning brown and falling off? Are you able to offer any information? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Answer: Based on your description of the white substance, it may well be a cytospora canker infection possibly combined with something else such as spider mites or a fungal infection. I would strongly suggest you work with a professionally trained and certified nurseryman, or a professionally trained and certified arborist to get a specific diagnosis, once you know what the problem/s is/are then you can figure out how to proceed. Unfortunately it is very difficult to make this type of diagnosis long distance. But you need to find out what it is specifically in order to treat it, many pests can only be controlled successfully if treated with the appropriate chemical applied at the right time of year. I'm sorry I can't be more specific for you.

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