Recommendations for browning dwarf Alberta Spruce trees?

Nancy Kennedy
by Nancy Kennedy
Dwarf Alberta Spruce trees are about 3 years old. My little trees seem to be turning brown and suggestions to turn this around before I loose them completely. I have about 10 trees in a row and about 5 are turning brown. Thank you.

  5 answers
  • Ken Erickson Ken Erickson on Mar 10, 2018

    I would take a sample of the soil to a local nursery. They can check to see if there is a supplement that's missing. You could also bring a trimming from good and bad trees to see if bugs are to blame. The amount of water could be too much or too little.

  • Cynthia Whitney Cynthia Whitney on Mar 10, 2018

    I had some of these once and they died after 2 or 3 years. Don't know where you live but I think southern Illinois is just too hot for them. Most everything grows like weeds here but evergreens are iffy.

    • See 1 previous
    • Cynthia Whitney Cynthia Whitney on Mar 11, 2018

      I don't know if it's a micro-climate situation or what. Just that mine did exactly the same thing. It started during a drought year and even though they were watered thoroughly, they just didn't make it. I also lost a 50-foot tall blue spruce from that drought. Good soil, too, in a former horse pasture. Here I can cut trees and bushes to below the soil line and have them taller than my head again in 6 months. Sometimes they even regrow when the roots have been grubbed out so it's not a lack of fertility. But evergreens don't fare as well even though I have some that are probably 75 years old.

  • Shoshana Shoshana on Mar 11, 2018

    There are several possible causes of browning needles on your dwarf Alberta spruce. One is the spruce spider mite. This tiny mite is active during cool fall and spring weather, feeding on needles of the spruce. If you look closely, you may see yellowish stippling on the needles; it results from a toxin injected into the needles from the mites' feeding. If populations are high, you may also see webbing. Often needles turn brown later in summer when temperatures rise. At that point, little can be done for the tree. You can spray with a miticide or horticultural oil when the mites are present in spring or fall to prevent the problem in the future.

  • Shore grandmom Shore grandmom on Mar 11, 2018

    I lost 4 dwarf alberta spruce trees. I was told that at least once a week during the spring, summer and fall to give the whole tree a good, hard spray with water. Unfortunately, by the time you see brown on the tree, you've probably lost it. Remove the brown ones and spray down any ones you still have to try to protect them. It will spread. Make sure to start at the top and work your way down giving it a good hard spray to knock the mites off and drown them.