The Q&A Archives: Drought / Norway Spruce

Question: The Drought hit hard last summer. I have eight Norway Spruce, each about 20 ft. in height. During the drought last summer they began shedding their needles. The needles never turned brown - they fell while dark green. Though I did water, it was not nearly enough to help. All but one tree has branches that are still healthy and full of green needles. These range from a few branches to one tree that shows no damage at all. The trees are in two rows in front of the house and cover an area of about 15 ft. by 45 ft.

What is the prognosis for these trees retuning to their previous state? How long of a period would this take? Should any or all be replaced?

Answer: Unfortunately, based on your description it is impossible to make predictions about your trees. Instead, I would suggest you consult on site with a professionally trained arborist about the prognosis for each. You might also consider the fact that these are ultimately very large trees and will need to be spaced further apart than originally planted -- a single Norway Spruce can spread 25 to 30 feet wide!

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