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Alberta Spruce
- Plant over a septic field?
Make a mini Forest

Q: Hi, would Dwarf Alberta Spruce be a good choice for planting over a septic field?

A: I imagine they would be OK for over a septic field as they do not get big and do not develop large root systems.

So if you ever had to move them to work on the septic field, they would be more easily transplanted than other, larger-growing trees.

Q: I just bought 24 dwarf Alberta spruce for my garden rail road. I want to create a miniature forest. How close together can I plant them?

They are now in 6" diameter pot and they are about 18" tall. Also most of my yard is covered with small stone [3/8"]. Should I remove the stone and breathable weed protector under the stone?
Thanks Jack

A: Dwarf Alberta spruces typically grow only 2-4" per year, so you can space them as far apart as you like, knowing that at that growth rate they will grow into each other after so many years.

If you do not mind them crowding each other out (and perhaps more resembling what a true forest looks like), you can space them out at any distance.

As for the stones and weed mat, yes, remove them both, and dig a hole twice as wide and slightly shallower than the root balls of the spruces to plant them in.

If the weed mat is one that allows water and oxygen to penetrate downward, you can replace it around the spruces and put the stones back on top (although a natural forest wouldn't likely have stones in it).

Be sure to water properly -- even breathable weed mats restrict some water penetration.

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Tom Mugridge

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