2020 How do I save a tree or shrub with Rhizosphaera needle cast? Needle cast is a broad group of fungal diseases that cause conifers to shed needles. During the spring, we’ll spray the tree with a copper-containing fungicide designed to … If control is desired for cosmetic reasons, protection of newly emerging needles through June with regular applications of an appropriate fungicide may be helpful. To enhance the effectiveness of the fungicide mix with Nature's Own Spray Helper. When setting out sprinklers, direct the water away from needles. Rhizosphaera needle cast is a fungal disease of spruce trees that causes needles to turn brown and fall off. We have much to learn about when these fungi attack a tree, how long the fungus must be in the tree before needles are shed, when is the best time to apply a fungicide, and which chemicals provide the best protection. Plant Norway (P. abies) or white spruce (P. glauca) as they are more resistant to Rhizosphaera needle cast. Prevention and Control of Common Conifer Tree Diseases, Needle Blight Tree Disease - Identification and Control, Diagnosing and Controlling Heart Rot in Trees, Common Hardwood Tree Diseases - Prevention and Control, Leaf Spot Tree Disease: Prevention and Control, Identifying and Controlling Powdery Mildew on Trees, Preventing and Controlling Sooty Mold Tree Disease, Use Needles to Identify Common North American Coniferous Trees, Leaf Scorch Tree Disease - Prevention and Control, B.S., Forest Resource Management, University of Georgia. Infected needles usually turn red to brown from their tips beginning in winter or early spring. Older needles can become infected if environmental conditions are highly favorable for disease. The symptoms of needle cast first appear on needles as light green to yellow spots, which eventually turn red or brown. Clean up and dispose of fallen needles before spring growth begins. Tiny black fruiting bodies (spore producing structures) form on the surface of the needles before or after the infected needles are shed. Rhizosphaera and Stigmina, the two most common needle cast diseases of spruce trees, are treatable. Infected trees have few needles near the trunk and look thin, or see-through. Water in summer and fertilize in the spring to keep trees growing vigorously and prevent needle cast. Submit a sample to the UMN Plant Disease Clinic for testing. White pines have fewer disease problems than Austrian or Scots pines. In spring through early autumn, spores spread to new needles within the tree or in neighboring trees via splashing water. All rights reserved. Whenever possible plant spruce trees grown from local seed sources. Other evergreen options include concolor (white) fir, Easter red cedars or other junipers, and yew. Similarities and differences between the two diseases exist. Trees can be protected from Rhizosphaera needle cast with properly timed fungicide applications. Make a second application 3 to 4 weeks later. Needles are most commonly infected when they are young and still growing. Do not mound the mulch around the trunk of the tree. Spray the tree with Fruit Tree, Vegetable & Ornamental Fungicide in the early spring. The fungus survives winter on living and recently killed needles. Discolored needles fall off in late summer to fall. Extension is expanding its online education and resources to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions. Remember, the label is the law. Do not overcrowd plants. Maintain a 3 to 4 inch deep, even layer of wood chip mulch around your tree to prevent weed growth. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. As a result some chlorothalonil-based fungicides are listed as phytotoxic to spruce trees. White spruce (P. glauca, including Black Hills spruce) is somewhat resistant but can become infected when grown under stressful conditions. Consider treating affected trees with fungicides containing the active ingredient copper (e.g., Bordeaux mixture) or chlorothalonil. Repeat the spray every 14 to 21 days, as necessary. Rhizosphaera needle cast is caused by the fungus Rhizosphaera kalkhoffii. Tiny black bumps can be seen arranged in neat rows on infected needles. There are over 40 kinds of needle casts in North America. Trees can be protected from Rhizosphaera needle cast with properly timed fungicide applications. Needlecast diseases of evergreens are caused by several fungi. Needle cast seems to thrive when conifers are under stressful conditions including drought. Treatments will not cure … Another key characteristic of needl… Before spraying fungicide, send a lab sample to the UMN plant disease clinic to confirm that Rhizosphaera is responsible for the damage. 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