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Rhizosphaera Needle Cast of Spruce Note

May 26, 2004

Many spruce samples have been submitted to the Plant Clinic this season with healthy-appearing new growth but brown to purple one-year-old needles. Samples have been infected with Rhizosphaera needle cast. Although the disease may not kill your spruce, it certainly causes needle loss that will not be replaced. Repeated infection can kill entire limbs. Both cultural and fungicide treatments can help manage this disease. Refer to issue no. 2 of this newsletter and consider sending a sample to the Plant Clinic for diagnosis, http://plantclinic.cropsci.uiuc.edu/. The lab test requires an overnight incubation, but culturing is not necessary.

Author: Nancy Pataky


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