The Q&A Archives: Dwarf Alberta Spruce

Question: I purchased and pruned my Alberta Spruce one month ago and it is turning a little brown. Is this normal? Do I need to fertilize? I planted it in compost and it gets full sun.

Answer: It is normal for newly transplanted trees and shrubs to show a little stress; browning needles might be a sign of transplant shock. Pruning in spring is best for your spruce because new growth will cover up the pruning sites. It may be that what you are seeing is dieback from the pruning cuts. Wait until next spring to tidy up your plant. As soon as new growth begins, you can trim off the brown parts and new growth should cover up the pruning wounds. Don't fertilize now; your spruce is busy getting its roots established. Next spring you can feed it lightly and it should responds with lots of healthy new growth. In the meantime, water it regularly and enjoy!

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