I planted a new shelterbelt in 2017. I had hoped that the needle disease would not be an ongoing problem but it may be. The summer before last my Black Hills Spruce had a needle cast disease and shed quite a few needles. It affected about two thirds of the trees and needles sluffed was from 5 percent to 33 percent with it not being very uniform. I would sincerely appreciate any advice you may have whether you think it is needle cast disease or something else you have been seeing. If you think it is a fungal needle cast disease, I would like to know fungicides to use timing and amounts. I can use a wand and spray the tree from top to bottom from both sides of the row with a fine stream and get decent coverage The trees are about eight feed tall. The pines are doing fine. I should have sprayed over a month ago before I realized their was a problem.Best WishesCarl, Thanks Again for your helpI will attempt to find something with better magnifying capabilities. They were planted 25 feet apart. I will attempt to spray with chlorothalonil but don't get my hopes up is what your saying. Last summer their was no shedding. My experience from two summers ago is the disease will keep spreading throughout the summer as long as favorable conditions for the disease continue. I estimate about 6 to 7 percent of the needles shed on all the trees. Trees affected by Rhizosphaera needle cast. The classic symptoms of needle cast include brownish purple discoloration and eventual death of older needles, while current-year needles show no symptoms (Figure 1). Colorado blue spruce (Picea pungens) is highly susceptible and is commonly affected. I should have mentioned that I have not been able to see any fruiting bodies but I will look again right away this morning. I am afraid the disease may be back this year. The magnifying glass I have may not have enough magnifying power.ThanksCarl, Given the value of your trees and your obvious interest in maintaining their health, we suggest that you send samples of the affected branches to the University of Minnesota Plant Disease Clinic. It may be worth your while to have a certified arborist make an on-site inspection instead of throwing good money after bad. White spruce (P. glauca, including Black Hills spruce) is somewhat resistant but can become infected when grown under stressful conditions. It affected about two thirds of the trees and needles sluffed was from 5 percent to 33 percent with it not being very uniform. Symptoms of both needle cast diseases look similar to each other. A North Dakota extension article suggested spraying twice around memorial day and then again about two to three weeks later, North Dakota mentioned the fungicide chlorothalonil but no mention of concentration or application. I estimate about 6 to 7 percent of the needles shed on all the trees. The needles two summers ago turned a purplish brown color before they fell off. Ask an Expert is made up of groups and individual experts. I will look on the stems as well for the third fungus the article describes. When considering spruce trees; blue spruce is the most common and most susceptible host of Rhizosphaera spp, followed by black hills spruce. Getting an expert as you suggest maybe a good idea as the I would hate to loose a whole row of trees in my shelter belt.ThanksCarl, One last thoughtDo you know how of good ways to observe these fruiting bodies. Your reference about the different shaped fruiting bodies was helpful. The trees are not crowded. Some diseases can only be identified in the laboratory. Two needle cast diseases occur in North Dakota: Rhizosphaera needle cast and Stigmina needle cast. http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/stigmina_found_associated_with_needle_cast_on_blue_spruce_in_michigan A 2017 fact sheet from Extension University of Illinois states there is no known treatment: http://extension.illinois.edu/focus/index.cfm?problem=stigmina-needle-blight I read the same 2011 article from North Dakota that you reference and it states to use the same fungicide that is used for needlecast. Thanks Carl Schreier, First, here is a link explaining the difference between the two diseases. I noticed that some of the needles are now turning a more brownish color. if i can't find any fruiting bodies than maybe neither disease is responsible. Norway spruce would be a less susceptible tree. Use it according to label directions. The shedding was spread out throughout the tree but more to the newer upper branches. http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/stigmina_found_associated_with_needle_cast_on_blue_spruce_in_michigan, http://extension.illinois.edu/focus/index.cfm?problem=stigmina-needle-blight. You can find an arborist for your area by visiting this web site, clicking on FFind An Arborist and putting in your zip code:http://www.treesaregood.org/, Thank you for responding to my question. I referenced a North Dakota State article on the internet and the needle cast disease does not look like Rhizosphaera but more like the Stigmina lautii. I am sure it is too late for the needles starting to turn the brownish color but hopefully I can limit the spread somewhat. Your advice was helpful. I can still spray them with my lawn sprayer. I live in the southwest corner of Minnesota. Another key characteristic of needl… That is the only advice I can suggest. 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