Contrasting Information Regarding Whether Fungicide Sprays Are Effective Against Needle Cast In Spruce Trees

Question From: Columbus, Michigan, United States
Q: Info re needle cast in spruce trees in Aug 8 article in Detroit Free Press Home Style--Article states "research" shows spraying fungicide is ineffective. According to MSU, spraying has been shown to reduce the fungus to almost nondetectable levels in some trees. We have sprayed our trees for the last three seasons and found great improvement. Some trees seem cured and others have rebounded dramatically. Spraying recommendations can be found at many university websites around the country, so not sure which research you are talking about that discourages spraying. I suggest a correction to your article if possible.

A: My information came from the on-going research program on diseases and cultural problems of Spruce trees. I attended a program two weeks ago given by Dr. Bert Gregg, Ph.D., an associate professor at the Michigan State University Department of Horticulture and Forestry who is currently researching urban tree selection in a changing climate. Obviously you have cared for your tree right from the get go and kept it wall watered during the drought two years ago and have not planted it where it is shaded by other trees. Most homeowners do not take such good care of their trees so they are in great stress when needle cast attacks. I stand by his information. I drive all over Michigan see very few Blue Spruces in good condition. Most of these are less than 10 years old. Best Nancy