The Q&A Archives: Brown patch on Monrovia Dwarf Alberta Spruce

Question: Three years ago I planted some Dwarf Alberta Spruce trees that have been thriving. They are now about 4 ft. tall. Just today (October 10th) I noticed a 1 and a half foot patch of browning needles, starting at the bottom and going up. This is only on one side (the south side) of the tree. The top and other sides are in perfect condition. I see no damage to the trunk when I pull apart the branches and look inside, and no obvious signs of infestation. The tree is covered with new buds for next year, even in the brown patch. Please help, I love these trees! Thank you.

Answer: If the browning area is producing new growth, then the stems are alive but the the needles died - probably due to chemical burn or dog urine. There's no guarantee that new needles will be produced in that area but as the spruce grows the area will be covered up. Dogs are usually creatures of habit and will continue to mark the same areas. If it is dog damage you may want to surround the spruce with wire fencing to provide some protection. Best wishes with your spruces!

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