have a blue spruce which has been in our front garden for about
ten years now. It has been growing exceptionally well so far but
has suddenly developed a lot of brown on it, mainly from the ground
up. It is still growing fairly well but it just doesn't look very
nice. A few weeks ago we had a lot of continuous rain here in Canterbury
but I thought it would have liked that, being an alpine type of
sounds as if your spruce has some sort of root disorder, possibly
phytophthora. It is quite common when there has been a period of
dry weather and then wet weather. Plants from the conifer family
are susceptible to root disorders where drainage is inadequate.
Cut back the infected
foliage and dispose of it in the rubbish bin or burn it to stop
the disease spreading. Ask your local garden centre if they have,
or can get, a fungicide called Aliette. It is very effective on
phytopthora but has more preventative properties but also limited
curative properties. Once a plant is infected there isn't a lot
that can be done, and often plants require removing and destroying.
Good drainage is essential.
If drainage is not good, it can be improved by creating raised beds.
by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor
of Resource Management.
with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH