© 2020 LAM Tree Service, Inc. All rights reserved. Over time, white pine weevil damage leaves the plant looking more like a shrub than a tree. • Usually feeds on needles in open-grown clusters of trees. You can buy one in a container to use as a live Christmas tree and then plant it afterward. This appears as small white dots on the interior needles of the tree. For Cooley spruce gall adelgid, apply a dormant oil spray in late-October and early-November. Blue spruce trees are deer-resistant, so they are often planted on the edge of a property to discourage deer from entering. Timing of Ips beetle treatment is the same regardless of the host tree. These two insect pests look similar, so accurate identification requires a close look. Covering the Foothills & Mountains West of Denver, Exposure: Full sun to partial sun (not partial shade), Leaves: Waxy gray-green needles up to 1 ½ inch long, Firewise? These two insect pests look similar, so accurate identification requires a close look. Blue spruce is the state tree of Colorado and is often referred to as the “Colorado blue spruce,” but also goes by the names green spruce, white spruce, and Colorado spruce. The Colorado blue spruce, or Picea pungens, is a favorite choice for Christmas trees as well as a robust and substantial addition to a landscape. Ips beetles also damage spruce, usually attacking stressed trees (much like they do with pine trees). Treatment for spruce broom rust consists of pruning to remove the affected portions of the tree. • Larvae present in late … Pungens means “sharply pointed,” referring to the blue spruce’s needles. See our Cooley Spruce Gall Adelgid page for more information. If you see gall adelgid or aphids on your Colorado blue spruce tree, try spraying first with Neem oil. There’s no need to remove the galls. This is done during the cold months when the tree is dormant and not actively growing. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board, What's Wrong with My Colorado Blue Spruce Tree. If you plant a blue spruce seedling, be aware that the roots will only reach down about 2 ½ inches during the first year, making it more susceptible to freezing during the winter months. Even though it is known for its drought tolerance in other parts of the country, in our area blue spruce has the highest water requirement of the native conifers. Both leave the tree looking less than desirable in our outdoor living areas but generally don’t significantly affect the overall health of the tree. It is commonly planted in Pennsylvania for its bluish-green foliage and conical shape. These are the insects' egg sacs. It's organic, and it won't hurt to see if the Neem oil can solve the problem. Colorado State University Extension, Spruce: Spruce Aphid. In rare cases, blue spruce will also have problems with fungal diseases. Dying branches (branch dieback) or branches that are shedding needles are common symptoms of Colorado blue spruce trees and often attributed to either of two insect pests: aphids or the Cooley spruce gall adelgid. Like all spruce, it prefers consistently moist soil. The best way to tell if you have an infestation of Cooley spruce gall adelgid is to look for a cotton-like substance on tree branches. You can't spray actively growing trees because it can cause new growth to burn. Mature spruce aphids have olive-green bodies (young aphids are a lighter green) and two sets of wings.. Other pests and diseases are less common but can cause more damage. The white pine weevil causes the dominant leader (the very top of the tree trunk) to die back. Read our, How to Grow and Maintain a Bird's Nest Spruce, Prevent Plant Diseases With Good Gardening Practices, Why Dwarf Alberta Spruces Drop Their Needles. For ongoing problems with these insect pests, you can take preventive measures—but it requires good timing. These are the insects' egg sacs. In most cases, old galls are covered by new growth the following season and become almost unnoticeable within a few years. Blues spruce trees are a popular Christmas tree option and their boughs can be used in wreaths and garlands. Dying branches (branch dieback) or branches that are shedding needles are common symptoms of Colorado blue spruce trees and often attributed to either of two insect pests: aphids or the Cooley spruce gall adelgid. It is also grown for the Christmas tree industry. • Feeds on branch tips of white, black, and blue spruce shorter than 15 feet tall. But while they may look alarming, Cooley spruce galls actually do little or no damage to the tree. A cherished conifer found in many landscapes is the Colorado blue spruce (Picea pungens 'Glauca'), State Tree of Colorado and Utah, and native to the Southwestern United States (Zones 3-7). Blue spruce is also attacked by a bark beetle, similar to the pine beetle, that can cause extensive damage to the tree. Canada Red Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana). Plant blue spruce in an area with well-draining soil, as water pooling can lead to rotting roots. Cooley spruce gall is caused by a small insect called an adelgid (or wooly aphid). Our state tree can be found growing in the drainages and along streams, creeks, and rivers in riparian settings. See our Ips Beetle page for more details. Blue spruce trees also tend to grow best in more acidic soils with lots of organic matter and depth, and are often found near areas where water runoff accumulates. This damage, known as a shepherds’ crook, will occur annually to the tree unless the weevils are controlled. Because of this soil environment, spruce can be damaged by contaminated soils and groundwater before other trees, acting as a “canary in the coal mine.” This situation is prevalent near failing leach fields and roadway drainages where salt builds up in the soil. Cytospora canker rarely affect… piceae), is the most prevalent and destructive fungal disease of Norway and Colorado blue spruce. University of Maryland Extension. Washington State University Extension, What's Wrong with My Colorado Blue Spruce Tree? Both of these pests are treated in spring and late summer/early fall. It’s usually found on new growth at the end of spruce tree branches where it starts out a light green color in late spring and early summer, and then dries out and turns brown in July. Pests like aphids, mealybugs and spider mites are usually minor. Mature blue spruce in the Colorado Front Range will be found as tall as 75 feet tall and 30 feet wide, although they tend to be a little smaller when planted in your yard. The most common blue spruce pests in the landscape are two insects that do mostly aesthetic damage; the Cooley spruce gall and white pine weevil. Three primary diseases affect blue spruce and lead to dead or leafless branches: Cooley Spruce Galls. It is treated with the same methods as pine beetles (spraying and pheromone packets), although treatments are applied slightly earlier in the season. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Spruce spider mites (Oligonychus ununguis) are sucking insects that usually do minor damage to trees, causing yellowing of needles. Call us at 303-674-8733 or contact us online to get a free estimate for tree planting, general tree services or any aspect of our Plant Health Care program. This bug is very similar to an aphid and spends about half its life on spruce (the rest of the time, it infests Douglas fir). The most common of these is spruce broom rust. You can find more information about the striped pine scale on our Scale Insects page. Generally, gall infestations will not damage the health of tree, though they may cause more aesthetic damage., Aphids that commonly attach Colorado blue spruce are also called spruce aphids. As the scale feeds, it causes the tree to drop its interior needles, making it look thin through the middle of the tree. Yes, but not as tolerant as other trees in our area, Where to Plant: Does not tolerate flooding or full shade, good as a windbreak, prefers moist areas, Brown, pinecone-like growths at the end of branches – Cooley spruce gall adelgid, Top of the tree dies back and can curve – White pine weevil, Small white dots on the interior of the tree – Pine needle scale, Branches die back, bark falls off, sawdust – IPS/engraver beetles, Sap and/or pitch masses on the bark – Spruce beetle, The needles of the Colorado blue spruce have a slight blue-green tint. Treatment for Ips beetles occurs in late winter/early spring before temperatures warm up and the insects become active. The best way to tell if you have an infestation of Cooley spruce gall adelgid is to look for a cotton-like substance on tree branches. We recommend spring or early fall planting to get your new trees off to a great start. You can always call us for advice on where to plant your new tree(s) and don’t forget that we offer professional tree planting services if you don’t want to do it yourself!
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