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Alberta Spruce
Prune for Christmas tree shape

Q: I have three dwarf Alberta Spruce. Two of these have developed three tops rather than one dominant.

How can I maintain or prune them to keep the preferred "Christmas tree" shape with one main branch rising from the top?

Thanks for your help.

A: You will need to remove the 2 side tops to encourage the central top, or leader as it's called, to gain dominance.

Remove the 2 back to their base, not just at the "outline" of the tree as they may sprout anew from the cut and just thicken things up again.

Since the growing season is over there's no urgency to do this. However, if, by doing this pruning, the trees' appearance may become a little "compromised", I would wait until spring, when the new growing season is upon us, to do the pruning.

This way, once you've pruned the competing tops off, the new growth will help hide any odd-looking cuts you might have needed to make sooner than if you pruned now and had to look at the plants all winter.



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Tom Mugridge




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