The Q&A Archives: Dwarf Alberta Spruce

Question: My new Monrovia Dwarf Alberta Spruce tree is shedding needles like crazy. I keep it very well watered and near a window so it's cool, but every time it is touched a whole shower of needles falls off. Is this normal?

Answer: It sounds as though your Alberta Spruce is indoors. If so, that would account for the needle shedding. Indoor air is too dry, indoor winter temperatures too warm and light levels too low for this tree. If you purchased the tree to use indoors for the holidays, it's usually recommended that you keep it inside for less than a week. At this point I would suggest taking it outside where it will be much happier. However, it's important to do so gradually or it will be even more stressed. Try taking it to a cool basement or unheated garage for a few days before setting outside. When you do place it outdoors try to find a protected spot (under the eave, under a group of trees) so winter winds won't further dessicate it. The alternative would be to keep it indoors throughout the holidays and then toss it, as you would a cut tree.

Best wishes with your Alberta Spruce.

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