Spruce Needle Rust in Calgary

Spruce Needle Rust is the common name for several fungi in the Chrysomyxa family, which affect Spruce trees in Calgary. This rust is easily identified by extensive needle drop and the pale yellow bands developing on the new needles in early summer. Identification of the different varieties in Spruce Needle Rust occurs mainly by looking at the differences in shape of the spores.

The disease infests trees at bud break through release of spores, which are carried by wind and splashing raindrops. Previously infected needles will turn brown, die and drop during the summer.

Trees affected by Spruce Needle Rust

Which of my trees should be inspected for Spruce Needle Rust? 

Spruce Needle Rust can affect all varieties of Spruce trees, although some are more susceptible than others. Common trees to get Spruce Needle Rust disease are:

  • Colorado Blue Spruce
  • White Spruce
  • Dwarf Spruces
  • Black Spruce

Is my tree infected with Spruce Needle Rust?

Common symptoms linked to Spruce Needle Rust are

  • Pale yellow bands on new needles around bud break
  • Needles turing brown and needle drop
  • Orange fruiting bodies are visible after needles rupture (telia)
  • Lower branches are generally first to show signs of infestation
  • Reduced growth and generally unhealthy look

Following pictures can help you determine if your tree is infected with Spruce Needle Rust:

Overall look. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Bugwood.org

Spruce Needle Rust Calgary overall

Overall look. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Bugwood.org

Spruce Needle Rust Calgary branch

Branch closeup. Bruce Watt, University of Maine, Bugwood.org

Spruce Needle Rust Calgary telia

Telia closeup. Bruce Watt, University of Maine, Bugwood.org

Spruce Needle Rust Calgary spores

Spores closeup. Bruce Watt, University of Maine, Bugwood.org

Treatment

Can Spruce Needle Rust be treated? 

There are several measures that can be taken to control the affects of Spruce Needle Rust.

Mechanical measures:

  • Reduction of moisture on needles by redirecting lawn sprinkler systems away from the tree.

Chemical control:

  • Fungicide application, through trunk injection methods early spring at bud break.

Is my tree infected?

Call your certified arborist for a professional diagnosis and a proper treatment plan.