The Q&A Archives: Browning Spiral Dwarf Alberta Spruce

Question: Hi, I have (2) spiral dwarf Alberta spuce trees that have been growing well for 6 years. I recently trimmed them in June and they are now turning brown in the middle and on the edges. I think this may be because I trimmed them too late in the season but I would like your opinion. In addition, should I be feeding some type of fertilizer to these trees? If so could you please recommend the one I should purchase.

Answer: Trimming may have stressed the trees, but it is also possible they are suffering from insects such as mites or even simply from drought since our summer has been so dry. In either case, fertilizer would not solve the problem. You might wish to contact your County Extension to see if they can determine the cause of the browning and suggest how to control it. In terms of general care, your trees could be given either a balanced granular fertilizer (or a fertilizer formulated specifically for evergreen trees) each spring in accordance with the label instructions. After that, ongoing care would include ensuring they receive adequate water throughout the growing season and perhaps a few inches of organic mulch. If your trees are in pots, the growing medium should be replenished every year along with routine fertilizing for the best results.

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