The Q&A Archives: Why Did My Trees Die?

Question: I planted six spruce trees in April 1998. I am in zone 6. As of November 1998, five trees have died. I thought I did everything right. I read every tree planting article available. I do notice white sap on outside of main stem. Trees seem to die from the top first. What happened? Is cause of death due to drought or insect damage? We had a very dry summer. Did not notice any insects on trees.

Answer: Spruces are shallow rooted trees and I suspect the dry conditions were the problem, although without seeing the trees and their planting conditions it is really impossible to diagnose. (For instance, spruce will not tolerate soggy soil, either.) You might wish to consult with the nursery where you purchased the trees and/or with a professional arborist or with your County Extension (579-0985) to try to establish the cause of the problem before you replant. I'm so sorry about your trees.

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