Black Hills Spruces Keep Dying!


  #1  
Old 10-05-06, 10:51 AM
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Black Hills Spruces Keep Dying!

I'm getting frustrated because we had three black hills spruce trees planted in our yard this past spring. One died in the middle of the summer, and we had it replaced. Now another one is starting to die (the needles closest to the trunk started turning brown and the brown is just spreading).

These were 5'-6' trees, B&B. Planted by a reputable garden center. They are on a hill about 12' away from some huge (mature) Colorado Spruce trees, so I can't imagine the soil being inadequate for the BH Spruces.

I watered every 7-10 days this summer (LOTS of water each time-- 10 minutes each with the hose). This was what was recommended at the place we purchased them.

Should I keep replanting or give up? We'd really like something there since we are trying to get some privacy.

Thanks!

What do you think? Did I just get 2 bum trees or is there something I could have done?
 
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Old 10-07-06, 11:14 AM
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Hi RatHat,

Some thoughts come to mind. You said they are planted on a hill. Water tends to run off on hillside plantings so a well should be created at the base of the trees to help retain water. Spruces are sensitive to drought and these are planted very close to mature trees that will suck up the moisture. Here's some helpful info on both of your trees.
http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/trees/handbook/th-3-177.pdf
http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/trees/handbook/th-3-175.pdf


Hopefully these plants were mulched with no mulch piled against the trunks. The rootflare should also be showing. Look at the base of the trees. If the trees look telephone poles in the ground, they are planted too deeply.
http://www.tlcfortrees.info/planting%20depth.htm

If these trees were b&b, was the burlap and twine removed? If the burlap or any twine was left on, has it changed color to blue or green? Sometimes copper sulfate is used to treat the burlap and twine and this can lead to stunted root growth.

Here are some other possibilities.
http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/3000/3033.html

Some browning from the interior older needles is common in fall. Take a look at these and see if any of this fits.
http://www.agr.gc.ca/pfra/shelterbelt/evergreen_e.htm
http://www.extension.umn.edu/info-u/environment/BD500.html
http://www.cahe.nmsu.edu/pubs/_h/h-163.html

Here's some help with watering.
http://cals.arizona.edu/pubs/water/az1298/
http://www.watersaver.org/pdfs/FALL_CARING_FOR_TREES.pdf

You may find these helpful.
http://www.treegator.com/
http://www.engineeredwatering.com/Ooze_Tube.htm

Newt
 
  #3  
Old 10-07-06, 11:31 AM
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Newt,

Wow! Thanks for all the great info. I will see what I can do with all of these suggestions.

Thanks!
 
  #4  
Old 10-07-06, 02:09 PM
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You are very welcome! Let us know what you find after you finish your homework assignment!

Newt
 
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Old 10-11-06, 12:10 PM
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The first thing I thought when I saw the heading to this thread was that there could be some kind of fungus or bacteria involved -- these, and even non-native bugs, have killed a lot of trees on the east coast. Is this a possibility?
 
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Old 10-12-06, 11:47 AM
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I will research the possibility of bugs- although we have SNOW here already, so it might be a few days until I get out there and closely inspect. Thanks for the suggestion!
 
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Old 10-12-06, 01:18 PM
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Rat Hat, you have SNOW??? Gosh, you have my sympathy!!

Newt
 
  #8  
Old 10-12-06, 05:01 PM
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Yeah, just a dusting (less than 1/2 inch) that mostly melted by the afternoon. But it's October for goodness sake!!! I'm not ready for that yet!
 
 

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