The Q&A Archives: Alberta Dwarf Spruce trees

Question: Ten trees bought from Home Depot.One year later 4 started browning.Replaced by store.Now another year later 5 of previous plants are browning.Starts in mid winter every time.I am carefully watering and fertilizing.In summer and fall they won house beautification prize.I am shocked at this

Answer: About the only problems Alberta Spruces develop are root rot from poorly draining soils, and spider mite damage. Root rot typically shows up at the bottom of the plant and works its way upwards, eventually killing the entire plant; spider mite damage appears as dead blotches in various places all over the plant. The only cure for root rot is to ensure good drainage all year around by raising up the planting area so you're sure the soil is not becoming, and remaining waterlogged during the winter months.

You might also contact your local Cooperative Extension office. They may be equipped to do a microscopic inspection of the foliage and may be able to positively diagnose the problem. Contact Penn State University, Pike County Cooperative Extension, 514 Broad Street, Milford, PA 18337 Phone: 570-296-3400.

Best wishes with your spruces!

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