Following two years of dry conditions across portions of southwest Minnesota, scattered individual spruce found in windbreaks have died. Above and below ground examinations did not reveal casual agents other than drought. Discolored spruce, which will be the next individuals to die, also had dead or dry roots. The seasonal effect on growth can also be seen decreasing branch elongation in the last two years leading up to the mortality.
Desiccation events, such as winter dying and summer drought, can act as the final trigger to cause the mortality. To combat this, water trees when dry conditions persist.