The Q&A Archives: Newly planted larger Dwarf Alberta Spruce Trees

Question: Hello. We have just finished planting 4 Dwarf Alberta Spruce trees that we bought already grown to a respectable 5 1/2 to 6 feet tall in our mostly sunny front yard framing 2 front windows. I love the formal look they provide, but I am a little nervous about their

Answer: Based on your description of the lower branches and the planting site, I am a little concerned. Bare lower branches may not refoliate on this tree, it does not "grow back" on old wood. Overwatering can cause foliage symptoms beginning at the bottom of the tree, but so can planting them too deeply and a host of other causes including fungal infections. Wetting the foliage regularly is not a good idea, as it can contribute to fungal problems. Reflected heat off of a building in winter can cause these trees to suffer with the foliage drying out. In addition, summer heat reflecting off a building can contribute to spider mite problems. These trees need an acidic, organic and humusy soil that is evenly moist yet well drained and never sopping wet or saturated. It should be like a wrung out sponge, holding both air and water. Watering should be done so that the soil stays moist deep where the roots are so a daily sprinkling may or may not be adequate depending on the type of soil you have and on the rainfall that season. Wrapping is usually used as wind protection so I do not think that would necessarily be helpful in your situation. I would strongly suggest you work with your retailer and/or a professionally trained and certified arborist with experience in ornamental trees to determine why they are browning at the base now and then based on that, determine how to proceed. I'm sorry I can't be more specific for you long distance. Good luck with your trees.

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