Ask a Question forum→Needles falling off spruce tree

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United Kingdom
getere
Jun 5, 2018 3:10 AM CST
Hello, a lot of needles are falling off our three year old white spruce. Some of the lower branches seem to be dying as well. Please see pictures.

About 6 weeks ago we moved it to a bigger pot and moved it outside where it could get some sun for a few hours every day. It rained a lot one day and the soil got too damp. We then moved it inside.

Can you please help identify what the issue is, and/or suggest what to try next? I'd appreciate it so much.

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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jun 5, 2018 4:18 AM CST
Welcome!

Did you just move it up into a bigger pot or did you remove the original potting mix from the rootball? When you set it outdoors in the sun after it had been living indoors, did you introduce it gradually to the different environment?

A pot should have drainage holes and it's unusual for a pot to get too damp from just rain - on looking at your pots I'm not sure if they do have drainage holes so that would be another question.

White spruce is a very hardy plant and grows well outdoors here even in -30C winters, can I ask why you are keeping it indoors, which is not ideal for it?
United Kingdom
getere
Jun 5, 2018 6:14 AM CST
Hi sooby, thanks for the warm welcome :)

> Did you just move it up into a bigger pot or did you remove the original potting mix from the rootball?
We moved it to a bigger pot together with the old soil. Filled the remaining space with 50% heavy garden soil and 50% general compost with peat. After a few weeks the tree "sank" into the soil a bit (maybe we didn't press it well when potting?) so I removed some soil from the top.

> When you set it outdoors in the sun after it had been living indoors, did you introduce it gradually to the different environment?
Took it out right away. Its new location was just outside the patio doors (it was behind the doors before) in a corner where there wasn't much wind.

> A pot should have drainage holes
I hang my head in shame and admit right off that I started with zero experience. The pot doesn't have holes. We have a few other pots like this one which we have now drilled. We haven't drilled this one yet out of fear of upsetting the tree further while taking it out. The soil is only slightly moist now.

> can I ask why you are keeping it indoors, which is not ideal for it?
Just ignorance. If it survives through this it will sit outside permanently :)

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