Christmas Tree to Yard
Q: I live in Cleveland and bought a live (ball in burlap) Blue
as my 2002 Christmas tree -- in the hopes of planting it in the yard
the holiday season.
The tree was in a heated garage until late
January/early February, then transferred outside. The tree looks to be
I obviously did something wrong in the transfer process, but hope
that I can revive it somehow.
It is dying from the top down, outside in. The top of the tree is
completely dead while the inner middle and lower halves still have the
Please help with any ideas and/or suggestions,
A: Based on the symptoms you've described, it sounds to me like the tree's root
system dried out over winter, and now you're seeing the result.
in a heated garage made the plant think it was still summer, and it
continued business as usual.
As a result, it required water just as it would during the summer months.
Unless you watered it thoroughly once a week or so, the roots dried out, and
without roots the top can do nothing.
The dying back from the extremities
is a classic symptom of root (or trunk) injury that prevents water from
reaching all parts of the plant.
I'm afraid that your spruce is not likely to survive.
If you purchase
another live tree for Christmas in the future, only keep it in the house for
about a week (being sure to water it once during that time), then store it
in an unheated building for the rest of the winter.
Better yet, dig the tree's planting hole in fall (cover it up so no one
falls in!), pack the hole with straw or hay, and right after Christmas have
a planting party.
This way, you'll have a family get-together, and you'll
start the New Year off on a good note.
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