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Blue Spruce Blight?

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From: Barb Prevo
City:
Gridley, IL
We need to replace our blue spruce windbreak. We've been told not to plant blue spruce again because of a blight affecting them. Is this specific to blue spruce trees or is it affecting other spruce species as well? Thank you.

 
Extension Message
From: Jay Hayek
Extension Specialist, Forestry
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
jhayek@illinois.edu
Greetings Barb:

Blue spruce "blight" is a rather vague term. Therefore, I’m going to assume you are referring to Rhizosphaera needle cast—an extremely common fungal needle disease of blue spruce. Remove and destroy all fungal-infected branches. Fungicides can be used to treat Rhizosphaera needle cast: chlorothalonil or Bordeaux mixture.

Norway spruce and white spruce, although susceptible to Rhizosphaera needle cast, are in fact more tolerant to Rhizosphaera needle cast. Therefore, please consider establishing a mixed windbreak planting of shrubs, hardwood trees, and conifers. When I say mixed, I truly mean mixed: mixed shrub species; mixed hardwood species; and mixed conifer species. DO NOT plant all one species of shrubs, hardwoods, or conifers. Tree and shrub species selection should be based on soil texture and drainage. Please contact your local USDA NRCS office for more information on windbreak species selection and windbreak design.

http://www.il.nrcs.usda.gov/contact/directory/ilcntys.html

 
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