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I have a few very large Blue Spruce trees in my yard. Over the past year they have been loosing needles from the inside out (trunk to the outer branches) very rapidly. Needless to say I had a tree guy come out to look at the trees and he said they have something called "needling" or "needle cast"... He advised that the trees needed to be sprayed 3 times a year at a cost of $250.00 per application. There are 7 large Blue spruce and each is about 30 feet tall. Is anyone familiar with "Needle cast" when referring to pines? Is spraying my only option...? I cannot afford $750.00 per year to keep these trees alive.

Advice/options please...

Thanks
Jeff
 

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I suggest checking to see if the plants have some other condition as needlecast is usually not going to kill a tree on it's own. Needlecast is often a symptom of stressful conditions the plant is experiencing. My biggest concern would be some type of canker. This is a serious vascular disease with no economical cure which will cause serious problems and is a spruce killer.
If needlecast is indeed the problem, I recommend 2 fungicide applications early in the year to protect new growth. Use a follow up fungicide applied about 4 weeks after the first app. Most fungicides labeled for ornamental use will cover needlecast.
We literally saved a grove of austrian pines for a commercial property a few years ago with 3 succesive years of fungicide treatments.
Another note, if you contact a commercial company to quote spraying they will usually beef up applications and costs, especially when someone is really concerned about their plants. I'd suggest a bit of haggling over price and insist on only 2 applications as opposed to three. Is three better, sure, but the benefit would probably not be worth the expense as the disease is not active under normal weather conditions for a period of time long enough to warrant 3 apps.
Good luck!
 

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I work for a commercial tree company. In fact Romeo is in my service area. If you would like me to come out to look at the trees send me a private message. There is no charge. Most recommendations for rhizosphaera are 3 applications of fungicide as the new candles are devoloping in the spring. $250.00 per application for 7 trees sounds awfully high unless they are way bigger than 30 feet. Most commercial companies don't gouge the customers. We exist in a competitive environment and work to establish long term relationships with our customers.
 
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