The Q&A Archives: Replacing "sick" Dwarf Alberta Spruces

Question: The front entry steps to my house are currently framed by 2 sickly Dwarf Alberta Spruces which I would like to replace. The site is very shady in the winter but gets lots of sun (6-8 hrs) from mid- to late-summer. Generally, winters here are windy but not severely cold and summers can be very hot and humid.

Any suggestions on replacement evergreens?

Thanks for any help you can provide!!!!

Answer: The type of site you are describing can be very difficult for evergreens. However, you might have better luck with yews which can be clipped to size as needed and are more tolerant of difficult conditions. To help the plants survive that winter wind, make sure they are well watered during the fall so that they go into winter well hydrated. The soil should be moist (not soggy wet) any time it is not frozen. A layer of several inches of organic mulch can be helpful in moderating the soil temperature and more maintaining even moisture levels. Finally, during the first few establishment years, you may want to erect a windbreak of burlap or snow fencing for example to protect the new shrubs.

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