Large Norway Spruce - is this on the way out?

chester_grant(6)June 7, 2011

This NS was planted as a 7 footer six years ago, and I previously posted about my concern about its rusty looking interior needles. Folks said not to worry.

Its new candling is fine - except the leader; see picture. The leader is 20 ft up so it was hard to reach and cut down, needed a ladder and a fully extended double pole cutter...

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http://s293.photobucket.com/albums/mm45/chester_grant/?action=viewät=IMG_0397.jpg" target="_blank">

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Looks similar to damage from white pine weevil. They kill the leader. And yes, that critter goes to spruce.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 1:04PM
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chester_grant(6)

To look for weevil - excellent suggestion - I cut the leader down the middle and opened it up but there was no sign of telltale larvae or insects between the bark and the woody center.....in the very center of the cutting from the top of the leader down to three inches or so the wood is a brown and powdery.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 5:33PM
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pineresin

"in the very center of the cutting from the top of the leader down to three inches or so the wood is a brown and powdery"

Yep, that's weevil damage - the brown powder is weevil turds. They've likely finished and moved on now, which is why you haven't found the weevils themselves.

Resin

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 8:05PM
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pineresin

Forgot to mention, the tree will grow a new replacement leader (or maybe more than one, in which case you'll need to prune second leaders out later).

Resin

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 8:07PM
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chester_grant(6)

I cut the top off just above a side branch which will hopefully be the new leader.
If this rusty looking specimen survives.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 7:28PM
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chester_grant(6)

Spring 2012 Update!:

This tree is producing new candles so its not dead yet;
however it now has multiple side branches at the top (as I removed the subject dead leader).
The tree is noticeably thinner in density compared to to the other (25) norway spruces I have planted over the property. In fact I am considering transplanting a small "safety" spruce in fornt of it as insurance so that IF it does die there will not be a large gap along my border.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 7:45AM
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