Several fungi species: Mycosphaerella spp., Phaeocryptopus nudus, Phyllosticta abietis, Toxosporium spp., Rhizosphaera

Photo by Gary Chastagner, Washington State University.

Signs & Symptoms

Photo by Chal Landgren, OSU.

  • Random to complete browning of older needles, mostly on lower branches
  • Symptomatic needles initially remain firmly attached to the branch
  • Small, black fungal fruiting bodies present on the undersides of needles
  • Limited to true firs

Where to Look

Photo by Chal Landgren, OSU.

  • Older, dense trees
  • Areas with poor air circulation

Similar Symptoms As

  • Environmental stress
  • Drought
  • Interior needle loss
  • Nutrient imbalances


  • Observe trees in weedy, crowded sites.
  • Observe areas near timber.

Management Options

  • Promote better air circulation within plantations.
  • Improve weed control.
  • Conduct basal pruning.
  • Spray protective fungicides, if needed (multiple years).

Host Susceptibility

host susceptibility graph

  • High susceptibility: Grand fir, Noble fir
  • Low susceptibility: Fraser fir, Nordmann fir, Turkish fir

Management Calendar

  • Look for older needles dead but still attached: Mid-August through Mid-October
  • Check lower branches: September through Mid-November
  • Use fungicides to protect new growth: Mid-May through Mid-July