Major research findings involving Swiss needle cast and its causal agent: All cited publications are available on this website. Gaining tree genetic information in relation to Swiss needle cast (SNC) is an important component of programs designed to develop Douglas-fir seed sources with genetic tolerant to SNC. if economically important traits are linked or can be inherited together, and 3) the degree of genetic control over the desired traits. Ask an Expert is made up of groups and individual experts. Plan for the mature size of the tree(s) when spacing plants, or plan to remove trees as they begin to intermingle lower branches. The likelihood of having success with any tree can be improved by choosing trees that are correct for you site. Follow proper irrigation practices; keep water off the foliage. Asked October 3, 2019, 10:53 AM EDT. Early testing of seedlings can eliminate poorly performing families at seedling stage before further testing, and allow for rapid screening of large numbers of already selected families so that the most SNC tolerant individuals can be used for seed orchards (Temel 2005). 2004; Temel et al. Control weeds and other vegetation from encroaching around the base of trees to encourage air circulation among and light penetration to the lower branches. I live in Washtenaw county and many of my neighbors evergreen trees are dying from needle cast diseases. This shedding of needles can be more serious to conifers than losing leaves is to deciduous Infected needles may then turn yellow or brown with characteristic dark fungal fruiting structures. If you can tell me more about your site (soil, drainage, etc.) Rhizosphaera needle cast disease is caused by the fungus Rhizosphaera kalkhoffii Bubak. Of the foliage traits, crown density is seen as a better indicator of SNC tolerance than needle retention (Johnson 2002). if there is evidence of variation in economically important traits (i.e. I am looking for advice on something that can grow to be 18-20 feet or taller and is evergreen year round for screening purposes, but is also hardy against the current needlecast problems in the area. Foliage traits (needle retention, crown density and color) are reasonable indicators of SNC tolerance, but appear to be under less genetic control to a lesser degree than growth rates (height, volume, DBH, and DBH increment). Plant spruce trees on sites with acidic, moist, well drained soils and full sun. Thank you for your help. Field identification is based on symptoms, but accurate identification requires laboratory analysis.Healthy spruce trees will retain 5 or more years of needles. 1). Trees planted on poor sites are more likely to be infected with Rhizosphaera needle cast due to stressful conditions. https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/alternative_conifers_for_michigan_landscapes. Plant Norway (P. abies) or white spruce (P. glauca) as they are more resistant to Rhizosphaera needle cast. Tolerance to SNC, not resistance, seems to be the important factor in genetic variation in SNC symptoms following infection by P. gaeumannii (Temel et al. Colorado and Engelmann spruce are very susceptible, but Norway and white spruce are somewhat resistant. When planting new trees in the landscape, space them to allow for optimum air circulation and sunlight penetration into the trees interior. Here is a link to a publication to look at some options. Rhizosphaera needle cast is the most common disease on spruce trees that is received in the Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic. The symptoms of needle cast first appear on needles as light green to yellow spots, which eventually turn red or brown. I would like to know what would be a good evergreen to plant to help screen my home from my neighbors. Needle cast is a broad group of fungal diseases that cause conifers to shed needles. Follow proper planting practices. If you have seen trees affected by needle cast disease in the area, avoid planting this highly susceptible tree. Rhizosphaera needle cast is a fungal disease, caused by Rhizosphaera kalkhoffii that attacks the needles of Colorado blue spruce in the spring, as new needles emerge. We were planning to plant some Norway spruce trees to help screen our house from the neighbors, but it appears that Norway spruce can also get needle cast problems. Maguire et al. Instead, consider planting Norway spruce, which is resistant. The first step is to get a reliable diagnosis. I would like to know what would be a good evergreen to plant to help screen my home from my neighbors. The primary goals of tree improvement are to determine: 1.) Minimize stress to the trees by water during periods of drought. 2003). This will minimize moisture retention on the foliage and will decrease the likelihood of disease development. Key site factors for conifers are full sunlight, good air movement and excellent soil drainage. Although the needles become infected symptoms of disease often are not visible until the following winter or spring season. Tolerance refers to a trees ability to grow well in the presence of disease, while resistance refers to the trees ability to avoid or prevent infection. However, little differences in susceptibility were observed between Douglas-fir seedlings from different locations in the Oregon Coast Range. 2005; Fig. Don’t plant trees to close together. Avoid planting highly susceptible species in low or shady areas where humidity and moisture remain high for prolonged periods. (2002) found needle retention a good predictor for growth loss at the stand level, and crown density may be the single best predictor (Johnson 2002). Rhizosphaera needle cast is caused by fungal pathogens within the genus Rhizosphaera.This genus also infects several conifer species including; fir, cedar, spruce, and pine Since growth-increment data are not always readily available for use in breeding programs, foliage traits can be a valuable tool, particularly for early-selections. A spruce exhibiting discoloration and loss of foliage as a result of needlecast. This is, in part, because all Douglas-fir trees are susceptible to infection by P. gaeumannii, but there is some evidence that Douglas-fir sourced from dry, inland areas experience relatively more fungal colonization than Douglas-fir from wetter, coastal locations. I live in Washtenaw county and many of my neighbors evergreen trees are dying from needle cast diseases. Selection of Douglas-fir genotypes with shorter needle longevity could increase forest productivity by removing infected needles sooner, thus limiting the net drain on carbon assimilation and growth (Manter et al. White spruce and other conifers, like pine and fir, are also susceptible. volume growth or disease tolerance) between families, 2.) and if you had a soil test to look at the pH we can make better recommendations. Genetic selection for SNC tolerance at the seedling stage has been shown to be successful for increasing tolerance in older trees (Temel 2005). Evergreen tree resistant from needlecast disease . Northwest Tree Improvement Cooperative Website, College of Forestry, Oregon State University, Quantification, Assessment, and Severity Prediction, Tree Genetics, Resistance, and Improvement, Integrated Pest Management & Silviculture. 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