Spider mites damage trees by sucking the sap out of spruce needles. Their feeding leaves the needles looking bleached or discoloured, eventually causing them to dry and fall off. These persistent little creatures can get out of hand very quickly, infesting large areas of a spruce before evidence of their damage becomes noticeable. Infestations can go on for years; without treatment, mites will eventually kill an infected tree.
Signs of Spider Mites
Look for fine webbing on the underside of larger branches among twigs and needles. Webbing should be easy to spot because this is where dead mites, dust, and dried needles tend to collect. When you find a mass like this, place a piece of white paper directly under the area and shake it briskly, then fold the paper in half and press. If spots of red appear, that generally indicates an infestation.
Spruce Trees of All Ages Are Susceptible To Spider Mites
Spruce tree spider mites are dangerous no matter the age of the tree. It’s true mites are especially dangerous to older trees or ones that are already stressed from other conditions. However, they can and will cause serious damage to recent plantings. Seedlings aren’t safe, so frequently check for mites. When you know you have a problem, act quickly. These tree-destroying pests are able to reproduce several times a season, and putting off treatment only makes a small problem grow into a big one.
Treatment to Save a Tree from Spider Mites
An infested tree that has not been treated is easy to spot after mites have had a chance to feed on it, undisturbed, for a while. From the underside of branches, damage spreads throughout the tree until it may be too late to save it. Heavy rain, strong winds, and extremely cold temperatures are nature’s way of dealing with the pests — but the natural way doesn’t always work. What does work for some control and a chance to save the tree is using water under high pressure that has been infused with insecticides. Extreme pressure enables the chemical to penetrate where it’s needed most, and will help remove infestations at their source.
If you have a tree that’s suffering, Caledon Treeland can help. Sadly, it’s sometimes necessary to simply replace your diseased tree. We offer spruce trees and good advice on how to help them thrive. Call us today at 905-880-1828 and our experts will give you great advice.