Needlecast (or needle cast) disease is a fungal disease that attacks a variety of evergreen trees, including spruce and pine trees. When a tree is infected, it will begin to show small brown or black spots on new needle growth. The following spring the spots appear more pronounced and the needles turn yellow, brown and then drop mid-season.
Branches that are severely infected often died. The spread of needlecast often occurs from the base of the tree upwards, with lower branches of the tree dying first as the infection progresses.
Trees that are infected with Needlecast disease exhibit very slow growth and become much more susceptible to other disease and environmental stresses because the Needlecast substantially reduces the tree’s ability to undertake photosynthesis.
To reduce the chances of a tree contracting needlecast it is important to promote strong healthy vigorous growth by properly watering and fertilizing the tree. Use the TreeHelp Annual Care Kit for proper fertilizing.
When pruning evergreen trees, avoid pruning when the trees are damp or wet and be sure to sanitize the pruning tools after each branch, thus preventing spread from branch to branch or tree to tree.
To control Needlecast on a tree that is already infected, prune severely infected branches. Spray the tree with Fruit Tree, Vegetable & Ornamental Fungicide in the early spring. To enhance the effectiveness of the fungicide mix with Nature's Own Spray Helper. Repeat the spray every 14 to 21 days, as necessary.