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Storing a
Dwarf Alberta Spruce Tree

Q: I was online researching the dwarf alberta spruce found your site very useful. I have one question and am hoping your Arborist can help me.

I purchased 6 dwarf alberta spruces after the Christmas holiday this year for use in landscaping projects in the spring. I live in Northern Ontario and am not sure how I can "store" them until them.

They have been stored outside until now, even at the store, and I think they are still dormant. Should I plant them in the garden, pot and all, until the spring?

Would it be better to store them in an unheated garage until then (with little risk of the pot feezing), and do they need to be watered and exposed to sun during this period?

Any suggestions you have would be appreciated!


A: If you will be waiting until spring to install the plants, you can "heel" them in temporarily until then.

Dig a hole 1/2 the height of the pot, put the plant in the ground, and place the hole-soil around the edge of the pots in a mound shape.

Give them a good drink of water, then top things off with a layer of mulch 2-3" deep but keep the mulch away from touching the trunk.

If you cannot do this now, you can keep them in an unheated garage but be sure the pot and root ball do not freeze, otherwise you may lose the plants.

Water them when the soil is dry (check by pushing your finger deep into the soil), place mulch on top of the root ball to conserve moisture, and some sunshine would help.

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Arborist Tom Mugridge

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