Good evening, for a few weeks our Christmas fir, in pot for about 3 years, after having thrown new green and beautiful buds, shows on the trunk and at the base of the twigs dry needles that I fear may spread to the whole branch including the green and new part . The waterings are not excessive because we also take into account the seasonal rains. We are afraid it may have been the fault of an excess of fertilizer (nitrogen granules, etc.). The trunk seems intact, there is no trace of resin. What could be the problem and useful treatment in this case? Thank you
Hello Ester and thank you for writing in the expert column of our website. The spruce is a plant widespread in Italy in the mountainous and subalpine areas of the north of the peninsula. From the Apennines going south this species is not present. The ideal climate for this plant is a cool and humid climate, with summers that are not too dry. The spruce adapts well to harsh winters but if grown in pots you must remember to water occasionally even in winter. The activity of the plant in the winter period is drastically reduced but it is not entirely absent and that is why it is good to ensure a minimum of water to the plant to allow it to carry out its vital functions.
If your fir has released new shoots it is a clear sign that the plant has passed the winter phase without problems and the drying that you are noticing on the branches is easily due to an excess of fertilizer. In fact, the granular fertilizer, even if it is slow release and balanced, when given in excessive quantities can "burn" the plants. However, check the branches to check for any insects to rule out that it is a parasitic problem.
Another possible cause of branch desiccation are branch cancers, but usually these pathologies occur with desiccation starting from the apical part, from the distal part of the branches and not from the part closest to the trunk. To solve this problem, we advise you to remove the granular fertilizer from the base of the trunk and once all the granules have been removed, water the soil abundantly 3 or 4 times. Once these operations have been completed, all he will have to do is wait for the effects to pass, removing the dry material with cleaning pruning.