|Norway Spruce, Richard Webb, Self-employed horticulturist, Bugwood.org|
Spruces are generally native to cooler regions and are adapted to cold conditions. They prefer full-sun locations with acidic and well-drained soils. Improper planting techniques as well as plantings in inadequate sites can be detrimental to spruce health. When exposed to unfavorable cultural or environmental conditions, spruce can become stressed and more susceptible to diseases and pests.
Recently, we released a U of I Plant Clinic Report on Spruce Problems (Pest and Cultural Issues).
It includes pictures and brief descriptions of spruce cultural issues as well as the most common disease, insect, and spider mite problems that affect spruce each year in Illinois. It can be found at the following link: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/plantclinic/downloads/Plant%20Clinic%20Report%20Spruce.pdf
Next, if you continue to have problems with windbreaks, please go to the Illinois Windbreak Manual, which can be found at the following link: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/forestry/iwm_complete.pdf
This manual is a great resource. Some of the helpful information that I often pass on to others from this manual:
- Most Illinois windbreaks will only last 40 to 50 years. Once they mature, they can decline and lower branches can die.
- Thinning a closely spaced windbreak needs to be done to promote individual tree formation and to discourage death of lower branches.
- It is not good to plant entire windbreak to one species. Monocultures can encounter serious problems with disease and insects pests and lack of variety of texture.
- Same species should be planted in the same row - minimize shading problems for trees that don't grow as quick as neighboring trees in adjoining rows.
- Remember to maintain, care, and protect your windbreak!
-Control disease and insect
-Protect from grazing livestock
-Replant or renovating windbreak when necessary