WSU Extension


True Fir
Annosus root rot 
Armillaria root rot 
Current-season needle necrosis 
Grovesiella canker 
Interior needle blight 
Needle casts 
Phytophthora root rot 
Rust (Pucciniastrum) 
Rust (Uredinopsis) 
Balsam twig aphid 
Balsam woolly adelgid 
Giant conifer aphids 
Spruce budworm 
Spruce spider mite 

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Caption: Fir Pucciniastrum rust
Photo by: R.S. Byther
True Fir : Rust (Pucciniastrum)
(revision date: 4/23/2014)

Pucciniastrum rusts are fungal diseases. Yellowish spots or blotches appear on the upper side of infected needles. White, tube-like structures are typically found on the underside of last season's needles in early summer or on current-season needles in late summer or fall. Yellow fungal spores are found inside these structures. Severely infected needles drop from the trees. Alternate hosts for Pucciniastrum goeppertianum include wild blueberry, cranberry, and huckleberry. The berry bushes develop witches' brooms with thickened stems and few leaves when infected. A reddish-brown layer forms around the infected stems. Alternate hosts for P. epilobii are fireweeds. Pucciniastrum rusts affect grand, Pacific silver, noble, balsam, white, red, and subalpine firs. Rust diseases are favored by cool, moist springs. This disease is often confused with Uredinopsis rust.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Remove alternate hosts within approximately 1,000 feet of susceptible trees.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

None recommended


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Caption: Fir Pucciniastrum rust
Photo by: R.S. Byther
Caption: Fir Pucciniastrum rust
Photo by: R.S. Byther
Caption: Pucciniastrum rust on huckleberry
Photo by: R.S. Byther