Dwarf Alberta spruce info please

grice(z5 Michigan)July 1, 2005

Hi all. I bought two of these today to have on my balcony. I was told that they would do well in full sun and that I can have them in containers as opposed to planting in the ground.

Is that true? Will they be able to be left outside in winter?

I live in S.E. Michigan and our winters are pretty harsh. Will my spruces be alright outside or should they be brought inside during the 'artic' season? Also,should I repot them to a larger container or leave them in the pot they came in?

I'd like any and all advice you all can offer as this is my first attempt with spruces.

Thanks so much and happy Fourth to all.

Grice

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

It's likely that your tree would survive temperatures on the balcony as they are hardy to zone 4, but it's still somewhat chancy on a balcony (I have left them outdoors sitting on the ground to over winter without protection, other than setting them out of sun & wind against a building). They will not like sun & exposure to wind over winter if your balcony gets full sun - they winter-burn easily, & especially so in containers. This plant is also very prone to spider mites in dry locations like you describe, so be on the lookout for evidence of their arrival.

You'll need to look at the roots to see if potting-up is necessary. It's possible the nursery potted-up this year & it won't be necessary until next spring or the year after. Repotting (which includes some pruning of roots & at least partial removal of soil) is best done on this plant in mid-April. These plants grow slowly in containers. Some species of P. abies grow only about 1/2 inch per year. Your tree is likely to put on about 1 - 1-1/2 inches in ht & about half that in width each year.

Good luck. ;o)

Al

    Bookmark   July 2, 2005 at 9:53AM
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grice(z5 Michigan)

Thanks Al.
So do you think I should leave them out over winter or bring them indoors?
Grice

    Bookmark   July 2, 2005 at 4:21PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Wind & sun exposure when the soil is frozen is a big concern. Wrapping the top in burlap would be a big help in preventing winterburn. If you leave them out, try to push them against a wall of the building so they get a little extra warmth.

Make sure you don't "over-nurture" & water too frequently. They like to get fairly dry between waterings, and they will need watering during winter, regardless of where you keep them.

Al

    Bookmark   July 2, 2005 at 7:54PM
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grice(z5 Michigan)

Thanks Al.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2005 at 12:15AM
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posiegirl(5b)

Grice, I had an Alberta Spruce on my balcony for years and didn't wrap it at all. Use Wilt-Pruf in the winter to protect against drying winds, and water if you have a warmish (40's) day and the soil is dry. Otherwise, I'd leave it out. Mine was planted in an old pickle crock. The only reason I don't have it anymore is that I decided to make a change and put a jackmanii clematis in the container. Actually, I think I had a sweet autumn clematis in it first, but I got tired of having to tie that one all along the balcony railing.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2005 at 12:16PM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

I think it would be riskier indoors. I think the warm dry air in a home in winter would be a spider mite heaven. I suggest you put it in the most sheltered spot, use the Wiltpruf (it's great stuff!), and maybe the burlap. They're pretty hardy little plants.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2005 at 10:21PM
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grice(z5 Michigan)

Posie,that is beautiful!! How long do you think I should wait before mine will need repoting?
I see that you and Watergal recommend Wiltpruf. Have either of you have any idea where I might find that ? Would it be available at Lowes Or Home Depot?
Thanks
Grice

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 5:22PM
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posiegirl(5b)

I got mine at a local Garden center at Christmastime. You ight try then

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 12:57AM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

Wiltpruf is becoming easier to find. Perhaps your Lowe's or Home Depot has it, if not, a good nursery should carry it. Or there's always online...

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 10:15PM
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grice(z5 Michigan)

I'll start looking.(I love an excuse to go shopping,lol)
Grice

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 8:50PM
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pady

I want to plant Dwarf Alberta Spruce,Japanese leaf maple
and some Roses.I'm wondering how depth and width can the roots grow and how far they need to be planted from the house?
I'm more thinking about the roots damaging the walls / house construction.I'm looking for information on their root growth and the distance to be planted from the walls of the house.
Any info is appreciated.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 8:52AM
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