The Q&A Archives: Colorado Spruce Dying

Question: I purchased three Colorado Green Spruce trees last May and planted them in a row about 15 ft. apart from each other. They grew beautifully all summer but the smallest of the three(4ft.) seems to be drying out and losing its color, turning brown, although about 10% of the tree still has some green it it. I may have got too close with the grass cutter and damaged some of the branches causing it to die during winter(?).

Anyway, I pruned away the damaged branches(which were'nt really that bad) a few weeks ago and fertilized all three trees with a cup of 10-10-10 fertilizer as instruced by the people I bought the trees from. The tree trunk is no less than 1in at its base so I only used 1 cup of fertilizer per tree. Prior to this, I only fertilized when the trees were planted(last spring), and last fall.

Is there anything else I can do to save it?

Answer: Based on your description it is impossible to make a definite diagnosis of the problem. Although it might be physical damage or even transplant failure, it could also be an insect or disease problem which might spread to the other trees. You might wish to consult with your County Extension (825-1701) for a positive indentification of the problem and the most up to date recommended control measures, if any.

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