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'rusty' basam firs - sick or frostbitten?

Discussion in 'Plant Health' started by rockandroller, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. rockandroller

    rockandroller ArboristSite Lurker

    Mar 19, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Atlantic Canada
    Hi! It's been a reasonably cold Atlantic Canada winter.
    But we had a very warm period a couple weeks back (several days getting up to the plus 20's) and then shortly afterwards another cold spell back below freezing, lots of snow.

    And now I notice that some of our many Balsam firs are looking quite "rusty" in places.

    View attachment 233625
    View attachment 233626
    View attachment 233627

    I'm totally new to forest living, so really don't have a clue as to what the cause is.

    The tree pictured is kind of on its own in a bit of a clearing, and I could imagine that the ground under it might have gotten quite warm during our 'hot spell' and pulled it out of dormancy (and new growth could have been 'frost bit' shortly afterwards).

    Or is there a well-known 'red blight' that attacks Balsam Firs?
  2. Urban Forester

    Urban Forester ArboristSite Guru

    Nov 29, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Metro Detroit, Michigan
    Yes, there is a "red blight" of firs. Its called Rhabdocline needlecast. However this looks like frost damage.

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