The Q&A Archives: Fat Albert Blue Spruce isn't blue any more

Question: My fat albert blue spruce which was planted in December 2005 has dropped about 80% of its needles after turning brown. Only the upper half of the 4 foot tree has any blue needles remaining. Did the 115F high temperatures here in Las Vegas kill it? Is there any way to recover it?

Answer: Blue spruces grow well in the Las Vegas area (check out the large stand at McCarron Airport) so I don't think the heat did your tree in. I'd check to make sure the tree is getting enough water and that the soil drains well. By now the roots should be well established and you should continue to see new growth. If the lower branches are dead, there will be no growth from them; if they are still alive, you may see new needles. Either way, as your Fat Albert matures you can prune away the dead lower branches.

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