blue spruce needle drop - Knowledgebase Question

Flint, Mi
Question by daveph35
January 13, 2010
Is there any way I can stop the needles from droping off? The trees are mature. The limbs start to go bare at the bottom of the tree and work their way up.


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Answer from NGA
January 13, 2010

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Whether or not you'll get new needles on your tree depends upon what caused the browning in the first place. Extended cold weather or a warm/cold snap can damage the foliage, but it could also be a symptom of root rot from over-saturated soils or damage from spider mites. Spider mites love dry, dusty places - like the foliage of evergreens in the summer months. Without knowing for sure what caused the problem, I'm not sure what to suggest. If you know it is not cold damage and that the soil drains well, suspect mite damage. These pesky little critters are so tiny, you can barely seed them without a magnifying glass. But they do leave behind some webbing so check the needles and branches with care. If you find tell-tale signs of mites, you may be able to control them by knocking off the dead needles and raking them up. As your tree develops new foliage remember to hose it down at 2-3 week intervals during the summer to discourage a new population of mites. Hope your tree makes it!

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