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What killed this spruce?

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At our friendís camp, about 3.5 miles away from my forest land in the western UP, theyíve had several white spruce die off in the last couple of years. When they start to go, they go fast. This tree died this summer - in the spring it looked fine. Iíve never seen wood look like this, Iím guessing from insect damage, but Iím stumped (see what I did there? :D)

Any thoughts?


Spruce budworm and followed up by the spruce bark beetle perhaps? Spruce bark beetle are a tiny ambrossia like beetle. Cut some green spruce and leave on the bark and you'll soon find some fine brown sawdust appear on it. That's the bark beetle. I cut spruce for firewood and have learned to wait until fall to cut it and get it under cover as soon as the snow melts. ;D Parts of Alaska have a lot of dead standing spruce from bark beetles. Around these parts the bark beetle is a secondary host on trees with declining health or freshly killed.

Iíll have to look for that. The wood itself looks almost porous, but no obvious tunnels or bore holes. 

I can see them galleries on the silvery spot in the middle. ;D But there could be a bunch of old rot to. Been a little hard on spruce last few years, so dry and hot. I know I lost a couple old ones from old age and drought. Sound spruce is usually quite white.

Spruce and the infectious agents that love them. There are a lot. SD could be right on. He could be way off. A cursory shot of the dead wood doesnít give a lot to work with since there are so many things that can cause decline and death of spruce. I think this link is your best bet at diagnosing the problem:



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