The Q&A Archives: Caring for Dwarf Alberta Spruce - Apt in NYC

Question: I live on the 26th floor of an apartment building in New York City. My deck gets a great deal of sun (full sun) and frequent high winds. I just today planted 2 of your dwarf alberta spruces in 15

Answer: Unfortunately this sounds like a very difficult situation for any plant, let alone a needled evergreen that requires an evenly moist yet well drained soil and hails from a naturally cooler climate. If there is a way to reduce the wind by providing a wind break, that would be helpful. If you can shade the sides of the container and raise it up an inch or two off the floor to provide air circulation that would be helpful in keeping the roots a bit cooler in summer. You will also have to water as needed to keep the soil evenly moist any time it is not frozen. In winter, the wind protection is even more important. You will also need to insulate the roots if at all possible. The reason for this is that they are subject to more extreme cold than they would be if planted in the ground and are also subject to the freeze/thaw cycles caused by oscillating temperatures that occur seasonally. This is very stressful on the plants. You may discover that they need to be replaced annually in March or so, as most of the container evergreens in the city are. I'm sorry I can't be more encouraging, good luck with your dwarf Albertas.

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