Spruce Tree – Drying Out Top And Bottom
Q: We bought a spruce tree at a big box store and planted it a year ago after Christmas. It was growing throughout the year but was just recently began drying out top and bottom.
A: Spruce trees rarely survive here for long. In my opinion, they should not be sold or planted in this part of the state. They are all adapted more to the mountains of north Georgia than to the suburbs of Atlanta.
If you are stubborn and want to experiment, choose a site that gets morning sunshine and afternoon shade. The site should have a slight slope, to help water move away from the roots. Use a shovel to loosen the soil twelve inches deep in a planting area eight feet across. Remove one third of the soil in the area and replace it with gritty sand, such as paver leveling sand. Thoroughly mix it into the soil. If the soil was mostly clay to begin with, mix in four cubic feet of soil conditioner.
After planting, water deeply once each week for a year, particularly during the summer. Following these steps will give you at least a fifty percent chance that your spruce will survive for a decade or more.