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Alberta Spruce Planting Advice

Q: I was just given a couple of Dwarf Alberta Spruce trees that a friend decided that she wanted to replace with a different tree.

Please give me planting instructions for them. Are they a yard tree or are they best as an ornamental tree in a flower bed?

Thanks for the info.

A: Dwarf Alberta spruces are usually best used as an accent or "focal point" plant, that is, as ornamentals within a bed of flowers and/or shrubs.

I would refrain from planting one in the middle of the yard, as it may be subjected to physical damage from mowers or play activities.

It's best to plant it in a protected area, out of harm's way. Make sure it receives at least a few hours of good sunlight each day wherever you end up planting it.

The top of the root ball should be slightly above grade when done, and an inch or two of mulch on top (but keep the mulch away from the trunk a couple of inches).

When you dig the hole, it should be twice as wide as the root ball, to give the roots extra room to grow out from the ball, and slightly shallower than the root ball. Chop up the backfill well, and place it firmly (but not too compactly) back around the root ball.

Give it a drink before placing the mulch on top, then water once a week, especially during dry spells.

Since you have 2 plants, you might plant one at each end of a bed to act as "bookends", and then plant some interesting flowers in between them.

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Tom Mugridge

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