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Hi there, my name is Neil. I am excited to share my knowledge about tree service with you all. My land is absolutely covered in fruit trees. Before I started providing the trees with regular care, they did not produce much fruit each year. I worked with a tree service professional to see if we could improve their yields across the board. My tree service professional eliminated pests and improved the health of my trees in a short span of time. The trees started producing fruit in abundance after that point. My site will explore the extreme level of care provided to trees by these dedicated professionals.


Talking About Tree Care Services

Should You Remove A Spruce Tree Infected With Needle Cast?

by Fred Nelson

A tall, healthy spruce tree can be very beautiful, but unfortunately, these stately trees are vulnerable to a number of different kinds of fungal infections. A fungal infection commonly known as "needle cast" can be particularly damaging. Many spruce trees infected with needle casts are beyond saving and will need to be professionally removed.

What Is Needle Cast In Spruce Trees?

Needle cast is caused by the rhizosphaera fungus and can affect several different species of spruce trees. Unlike other diseases that can affect spruce trees, such as needle rust and canker, needle cast is slow to develop, and its effects may not be visible for some time after the infection occurs. 

The most obvious symptom of needle cast occurs in summer and early autumn, when the infected spruce's needles start to turn purple or brown and fall away from the tree. In most cases, this infection starts at the bottom of the tree, so you may notice that your spruce has bare lower branches beneath a healthy-looking upper section.

If you inspect one of these brown, fallen needles under a magnifying glass, you may notice a series of small, black growths. These are the fruiting bodies of the rhizosphaera fungus, and they can survive on fallen needles for a long time.

Spruce needles function in the same way as the leaves of deciduous trees, providing energy for the tree via photosynthesis. If needle cast kills enough of a spruce's needles, the tree will start to die.

Can Needle Cast Be Cured?

If you suspect your spruce tree is suffering from needle cast, you should call in a professional tree service company to inspect the tree for you. Needle cast closely resembles several unrelated types of fungal infections, so getting a professional diagnosis is essential.

If your spruce has only recently started to show symptoms of needle cast, it may be possible to save the tree with regular applications of fungicidal sprays. Bear in mind that these sprays can be highly toxic to other plants and animals (including humans), so this may not be a viable approach in public areas or spaces used by children or pets.

Unfortunately, branches that lose most or all of their needles rarely recover, leaving the tree permanently weakened. If needle cast has already left large sections of the tree bare and denuded, the tree may be beyond saving. Terminally weakened trees pose a serious risk of toppling as they die and need to be removed for safety reasons.

How Should Stricken Spruce Trees Be Removed?

If your spruce tree has suffered too much damage from needle cast, you should call in a professional tree removal service to fell and destroy the tree. Make sure to call in a service that specializes in removing spruces and other coniferous trees, as the techniques and equipment required to fell these trees can be very different from those needed to remove deciduous trees.

To prevent the infection from spreading, the entire tree will need to be removed, including the stump and roots left over after the tree has been felled. Your removal service will bring in stump grinders, mini-excavators, and other equipment needed to remove every trace of the infected spruce from your property.

Because the fungus can survive on dead, fallen needles, these will also need to be completely removed to prevent the infection from spreading. Make sure you engage a spruce removal service that will carefully collect and dispose of any fallen needles on your property.