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Hi Linda, I have a dwarf Alberta Spruce that is a year old and has developed a serious problem. The entire back has turned brown and-dropped its needles. It looks like it's dying. What can I do to save it, if anything? Thanking you in advance, Terry


Alberta Spruce Damage Hi Terry,
The spruce cannot be saved. It looks like mites have done their damage to the tree and/or the tree has not been watered enough.

Trees and shrubs take 3-5 years to get established. Establishment means the tree has enough active roots to supply water and nutrients from below ground to support all of the above ground growth. Newly planted trees and shrubs need to be watered initially, depending on the time of the year, for many weeks to help them get established because they do not have an adequate root system to support the above ground growth. After the initial watering phase, trees and shrubs need to be watered for 3-5 years after planting, mainly in the summer when natural rainfall is scarce, until all the roots grow in to support the tree. If the tree does not get watered properly, it will become stressed and insects are attracted to stressed plants. Mites love dry, Dwarf Alberta Spruce. Dwarf Alberta Spruce need a soil with organic matter that can hold moisture and a part sun/part shade location.

Thank you for your question.

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About Linda Lillie

Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.


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