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Help! I have Norway pine dying from top

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by Freeezo, Mar 27, 2003.

  1. Freeezo

    Freeezo New Member

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    Thank you in advance! I have a Norway Pine which I thought just had one tough drought year and sone of the top of this 30-40 ft pine died. Since then, the top has continued to die off even though their are not drought conditions-in fact perhaps the opposite. This Minn. location seems to have heavy clay soil and the last couple years have left them soaked at times any help would be WAY appreciated!
     
  2. Kneejerk Bombas

    Kneejerk Bombas Tree Freak

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    First thing you need to do is correctly identify the tree. I don't know of a Norway Pine, that doesn't mean it doesn't exsist, but i suspect you may have meant Norway Spruce.
    Pines have needles in pairs or groups, Spruce have single needles coming off a central stem.

    When a tree dies from the top down, I always look at root problems. Has there been activity under the tree?
    I might also look for lighting damage, like vertical cracks running down the trunk.
    Insect damage is not likely with a Spruce, but possible for a Pine. Fungal problems usually start at the bottom and go up.
    What size is the tree?
     
  3. hillbilly

    hillbilly ArboristSite Operative

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    If it is a pine, typically the Scots pine, you've got it sounds very
    much like the Resin-top disease / Scots pine blister rust.
    "Cronartium flaccidum"
    It is fairly common over here.
    The attack starts at the top and works itself downwards.
    It spreads faster vertically than horisontally, so you might see
    long trunk wounds below the dead top.
    The struggle between the tree and the attacking fungi
    can go on for decades.
    No treatment is available as far as I know.
    Look at the attached picture to see how attacked trees
    may look like.
     
  4. Freeezo

    Freeezo New Member

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    Thank U Mike and Hillbilly for your great responses-Sorry, Mike you're right, It is a 30-40 Foot Norway spruce(not pine). They are planted in a row on the side of a lot-no known root problems. There was one cut down next to this one which I assumed had the same problem. It does look kinda look( but not as bad) as Hillbillies right-pictured tree. Anything you guy's can think of to help this tree would be appreciated! Thanks again.
     
  5. Kneejerk Bombas

    Kneejerk Bombas Tree Freak

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    We can eliminate a lot of disease problems, now that we have identified the tree as a spruce, including blister rust.
    Don't disregard root problems too quickly. Tree roots grow mostly in the top 12" of soil, so even a trench 6" deep going near a tree can cut off many of it's roots. Being on a lot line, could there have been a gas line or other utility cut in in the last several years? Have you had septic work done, or septic problems? Are there other plants in the immediate area, like turf or shrubs, which may be exibiting trouble?
    If I were called to your site and the root zone looked good, the next thing I would do is get to the part of the tree right where the dead needles meet the healthy needles. I would examine the trunk for borer exit holes, sap leaking, or lighting damage and look at the needles under a loop for fungal spots.
    If there is evidence of borers, which is possible because of the recent stress of drought, you will need an arborist to confirm the diagnosis and possibly spray an insecticide.
    If not, and you can gather a limb with both healthy and dieing needles, your local university extention office can try to culture any pathogens and report back in a few weeks. This costs about $15.
     
  6. FBerkel

    FBerkel ArboristSite Operative

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    One thing to consider is that drought stress can affect a tree even in succeeding non-drought years. Also, stresses can compound each other, so that a relatively minor one, if it follows on the heels of one or more other stresses, can be the straw that breaks the picea's back. Insects are often secondary to the original stresses.
     
  7. Stephen Wiley

    Stephen Wiley ArboristSite Lurker

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    Guess?????

    Freez,

    The reply's you have recieved so far, are simply stated: possibilities.

    However, your best bet would not be to try to self diagnose, as the symtoms you have mentioned are NOT signs of the causal affect. If improperly diagnosed you may inadvertantly maintain or accelerate disease progression.

    Find a conusulting arborist in your area to examine the tree. The money will be well spent and additionaly he will most likely make you aware of any additional problems (health or structurally) that you may have with other plant(s) upon your property in the spance of time *he is there.

    * I know politically incorrect!
     
  8. Freeezo

    Freeezo New Member

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    Yep, it looks like my Norway Spruce has had the dreaded borer visit. Closer inspection of the trunk reveals a few pencil-size rows of holes which I assume is a borer(s) holes?
     
  9. treeclimber165

    treeclimber165 Member A.K.A Skwerl

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    Shallow holes in rows are from woodpeckers. They typically will not kill a tree. Depends on what they are pecking for.

    Take Stephen's advice and get someone who is qualified to diagnose your tree. Unfortunately, I feel that your end result will be the same no matter the diagnosis. Sure sounds like a removal to me.
     
  10. Freeezo

    Freeezo New Member

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    thanks all. I'm gonna have a arbrist take a look at it this week!
    Freeezo
     
  11. Dan F

    Dan F ArboristSite Operative

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    I'm curious what the arborist said it was?

    No one else mentioned it so I will - possiblity of a girdling root? If you have access to the base of the tree a quick check will help to clue you in for this possibility. If you have a flat spot on the base of the trunk, chances are good for a girdling root.

    My guess is that well over 1/2 of the trees coming out of nurseries these days either have a girdling root, or have roots that have potential to become a girdling root, due to the way they were lined out in the nursery.


    Dan
     
  12. M.D. Vaden

    M.D. Vaden Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Looks like you have the tree IDd already.

    Just tossing in a note to add to a previous post.

    Pines don't all have needles in groups of 2 or more.

    Italian Stone Pine, in the jouvenile stage, has needles in singles, later in pairs.

    There may be other exceptions. That's just the most common deviation from needles in multiples in our area.

    That Pine gets needles in pairs later.

    It could be confused with a Spruce at a young age.

    This is a note for ID in general. Your tree is too big to confuse.
     

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