Caring For Spruce Trees

Spread a 2 to 4 inch thick layer of some attractive organic material on the soil over the roots of the tree.
Judicious pruning encourages denser branching in the whorl-branching trees like spruce. Most of these conifers experience their period of rapid growth in the spring each season. So late spring to early summer, after the new needles have expanded, but before they have stiffened, is the best time to pinch back tender new growth. Clipping the ends of their branches back to a bud will maintain young trees that are outgrowing their space at a desirable size for several years. Once spruces have become too large to contain by pruning, it is best to replace them.

Spruces appreciate moist soil, but they don't normally require supplemental watering except when they are first planted, or in late fall before the ground freezes for the winter. However, in periods of prolonged drought when rainfall is scarce, even well-established spruces will need watering.

After the first year of growth, feed young spruce trees once a year in the fall. Sprinkle some fertilizer on the soil under the tree out to 1-1/2 times the distance from the trunk to the branch tips. If the distance is 20 feet, fertilize 10 feet beyond the tips of the branches (the drip line).

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