Blue Fir Disease - Help!

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by marzette, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. marzette

    marzette Member

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    Ketchikan, AK
    Greetings - Can anyone identify what is going on with our blue fir? I am not sure of the variety, has done well up until recently. Two things have happened that may be related: 1) we have been setting record rainfall almost daily and 2) darn me - it had a double leader, I removed all but 6" of the leader in May, leaving a steep diagonal cut; planning on finishing the cut this winter.

    Symptoms seem to start with tip wilt, then the branch wilts and dies. I am not sure what has happened to the upper branches that have completely died back, albeit not the leader.

    I'd hate to lose this tree, all blue conifers are challenged by our climate, but this fir has been a consistent performer. I'd have an even harder time living with myself (and my family) if I were responsible for it's demise.

    Is there anything I can treat it with? I have Daconil and a copper spray product. Thank you in advance for your advice!

    Best Regards,

    Marzette
    Ketchikan, AK
    4.62" of rain in one day - we'll hit 200" this year
     

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    Last edited: Jul 13, 2012
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Maybe this. Note stated connection between problem and moisture falling from above - it is true that often blue conifers are dry climate species or subforms. For instance the Douglas fir is predominantly green on the coast and blue in the interior. Typically the blueness is due to waxiness, a feature that protects against aridity.

    Observe also that they mention a similar condition. You might want to look at the account of that also elsewhere on the site - as well as one or two of the multiple other problems with true firs that are shown and discussed.

    http://plant-disease.ippc.orst.edu/ShowDisease.aspx?RecordID=461
     
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    It's a Subalpine Fir Abies lasiocarpa. As Ron says, this isn't a tree well adapted to your temperate rainforest climate, so no surprise that it's not doing well.

    Your climate is good for some other firs, though; try to see if you can get an Abies delavayi or an Abies forrestii. They are both very decorative trees that most people can't grow well, but you will be able to.
     

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