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Wanderer

Winter burn on Dwarf Spruce

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Hi,

First time poster in L&G, long time view.... well, no, but I think I'll be checking this out more. grin.gif

I have some Dwarf Alberta Spruce trees that I planted about 7 years ago. I have always wrapped them in burlap for the winter, except last year. They are getting kind of big.

I heard last year that if you water the daylights out of them in the fall, you shouldn't have worry about the burn through the winter. Well, that didn't work for me.

The southwest facing side of them is looking pretty ugly. I bent the braches where the needles are falling off and they didn't snap, so I'm hoping there's still life in them.

Is there a way to bring these babies back or am I going to have to start over?

All advice is appreciated. Thank you.

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Winterburn is VERY common in Dwf Alberta Spruce.

Most times the burned needles will slough off as the buds push and the new growth extends. Most of the damage should be disguised after the new growth is out.

If they recieve a lot of south or western sun, you should continue to wrap them in the winter. If they are getting too big to wrap with burlap, look at using an old bed sheet. Watering alone will probably not be enough unless we have a very mild winter.

Good Luck!

Ken

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Thanks Labs,

I stopped by a nursery today to look over my options. The nice lady there told me some things as well.

You are correct, I will never be safe to leave them uncovered which is ironic to me with a name like "Alberta" spruce.

She told me that if I run my hand through the branches and the needles fall off easily, I'm in trouble. But if the brown needles stay on the branch, I have a chance. I also need to add some bone meal to help them come back if they pass the needle test.

I tried it and only a few small areas where real bad, so I'll get the bone meal food and water it in and cross my fingers.

Thanks again.

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The bone meal won't do much. It's mostly phosphorous and does not move well through the soil. It is VERY slow to break down and add nutrients to the plant. It's used mostly to stimulate root growth...

Your plants can use a shot of food 'right now'... meaning they are going to use a lot of their reserves pushing out new growth and able to produce less food because of the needle burn, so feed them something that will be available to them asap... not 3 months to a year from now.

Try mir-acid. It is sold right next to miracle gro. It is a foiliar and root feed. It is water soluable and is taken up by the plant immediatley.

Also mil-organite is a good organic fertilizer. That and some ironite for greening as an alternate choice.

Good Luck!

Ken

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Sweet!

I'll have to write a couple of those words down so I can remember them in the morning, er later today. grin

I guess I'm not the only one who can't sleep.

Thank you again.

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another thing a guy can do is use an inti-desicant in the fall. It acts much like an anti persperent coating the needles to ward off foiliar moisture loss thru wind and dry cold.

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Thanks Paul,

I've seen that stuff in action before. It didn't happen to be the cure that time although I do think it helped some. I'll be going back to covering for the winter.

I added the Mir acid on Sun along with replanting one. One other one has a patch that I doubt will come back, but other than that there is hope! Most of the brown areas have green buds on the ends!

Never been much of a gardener, but I'm learning.

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