My Blue spruce is dropping needles creating bare areas how do I treat will it grow new needles. Had landscaper plant ornamental grasses last summer and they show no sign of greening up. Help!
Hello, Diane: Blue spruce (Picea pungens) can develop discolored needles for a few different reasons. Environmental stress such as winter burn or lack of moisture; a less than ideal planting location can all lead to dieback and/or needle drop. Blue spruce thrive in full to part sun and will tolerate a range of soil types; in their native habitat they grow along river/stream banks and at high altitudes. Once established, these evergreens are pretty tough plants. Is this a new addition to your garden? If so, and it did not receive enough moisture this could be your answer but if it’s a more established tree and has thrived in its current location for several years something else is going on. These conifers are susceptible to a few different insect and fungal diseases. What does the overall health of your tree look like? Are the bare spots random throughout the tree or more centralized? If it started from the bottom and is working its way up, you are likely dealing with a fungal problem. For a positive diagnosis and treatment options you can take a sample to your county cooperative extension offices for the horticulture agent to look at with a lens. The Hart county offices are located at 505 Whitman Lane in Munfordville. The phone number is (270) 524-2451.
As for your ornamental grass, it should be putting on new growth at this point. If there is no green at all, it doesn’t sound promising. Do you know which grass was planted? There are ornamental grasses that are not hardy here in Kentucky. If it was a perennial grass, most likely it did not receive enough moisture to get its roots settled before winter arrived. You may want to contact the landscaper to see if the garden center/nursery where it was purchased offers a guarantee policy.