spider mites of albert spruce?

coengMay 13, 2012

A landscaper visited my house this past week offering his services. My wife declined and said that her husband does all the yard work. The guy mentioned that we have spider mites in our alberta spruce and need to be eradicated. Below is a photo of the affected shrub. Is he right? What is the method of solving the problem? We just bought the house last summer.

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gardengal48

Yes, he is correct. Spider mites are an extremely common pest of Alberta spruce. The best method of controlling the problem is to remove the spruce. Barring that, you could apply a miticide (Neem oil is effective) but often, just keeping up the humidity around the plant by hosing it down periodically will keep things under control. Spider mites detest damp, humid conditions.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 1:29PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

stick your head in there.. with the shop vac.. get rid of all the dead interior needles ... then just blast it with a pistol grip hose end.. often.. and that should take care of it ...

all that said.. i would also.. just get rid of it ...

bayer systemic ought to take care of it also.. IF the label says it works on mites ...

IMHO.. i am glad you didnt waste money on a pro doing this ... i mean really .. what are they.. $3.50 at wallyworld???? .. but i would not plant the same thing ...

ken

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 7:53PM
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miclino(5)

I tried hosing mine down pretty regularly but couldn't get rid of the mites. I think mine was in a bad location to begin with anyway. One option is to get rid of it. Failing that I know this forum does not like pesticides but the product Sevin applied directly by a landscaper here on an unrelated job actually did the trick.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 11:37PM
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coeng

Some followup questions:

1) How could you tell from the photo?
2) Why go the extreme route and remove it?
3) What if I don't remove it?
4) Why remove the dead needles?
5) Can I actually see the mites or are they too small?
6) There are a ton of dead needles on the ground. Is this helping their habitat?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 6:49AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

the greying needles are dead.. soon to be brown.. soon to fall off ... so you will have big holes in it ... for a few years until it fills in ..

the dead stuff inside.. can harbor problems.. its just maintenance.. for a healthier plant ...

there is no hurry.. just get it thru your head.. when it really starts bugging you.. that removal is the simplest and easiest and cheapest solution ... and if you dont .. i surely dont care ...

and again.. they are one of the easiest available.. cheapest for size on the market.. considerably over used/planted...

and why mess around for 3 to 5 years.. hoping to save and recover this one.. when it can be replaced for $20 .. and some digging..

ken

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 8:03AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

1) How could you tell from the photo?

We really can't, for sure, but familiarity with this plant combined with the visual symptoms would be STRONGLY suggestive.

2) Why go the extreme route and remove it?

Because, IMO, it's a junk plant that usually requires LOTS of maintenance and then still almost never escapes infestation and visual devastation. I would ask why anyone wouldn't remove it at their earliest convenience.

3) What if I don't remove it?

It'll continue to be an eyesore, a burden, and a lost opportunity to grow something decent.

4) Why remove the dead needles?

Well, there's some chance it might slow down the problem a little (but, yeah, why even waste the time).

5) Can I actually see the mites or are they too small?

Yes, if you look closely and have good vision.

6) There are a ton of dead needles on the ground. Is this helping their habitat?

Yep.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 8:32PM
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gardengal48

Nicely said, Brandon :-)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 12:59PM
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