What kind of conifer?

pmsmith2032(5b Suburbs of Chicago)February 6, 2012

Can anyone tell me what kind of conifer this is:

We transplanted it from Northern Wisconsin about 5 years ago an it doesn't seem to be doing well. It has lost all it's needles toward the top and grown very little (maybe grown a foot and a half over 5 years). Thanks in advance!

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

its a picea.. or spruce.. or an abies .... but from that distance.. i cant tell

did you transplant it in the middle of summer ????

are any of the buds.. on the bare tips.. hard and tan brown.. if not.. it will not bud out ... up near the top ...

PROPER PLANTING TIME is very important for conifers.. and in your z5.. that is around 4/1 or 10/1 ....

they do not transplant well at all in the heat of the summer.. and i am guessing you went for a hike in summer ... or up to the cottage .. am i close???

one thing for sure.. that is not a happy 5 year old transplant.. i would be done with it ....

that very top part.. is what should be its annual growth rate.. at a min ... and it looks like its about a foot.. so in 5 years.. a happy tree of that kind should be at least 5 feet tall ...

with your perfect sod.. there may also be lawn care issues.. like herbicide sprays ....

close up pix???

i am going to guess.. you are going to tell me all the happy family memories .. of going out on the hunt .. on vacation.. and how much emotional baggage you have invested in it .... and i am sorry for that.. but sooner or later.. its just going to turn into bad feelings ... get rid of it.. and make a pilgrimage to the tree farm in april.. and capture a new one .. make a new memory .... [trust me ... been there done that .. twice]

ken

PS: i even got messed up on the 'plant a tree on the birth of the child' tree dying ....

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 4:33PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Its probably Picea glauca var. densata but can't say for sure.

Its time to dig that one up and get a new one.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 5:33PM
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mmajicmann(5b)

my guess is balsam fir... a very dry balsam fir.

Here is a link that might be useful: christmas trees

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 6:07PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Yes, I would say white spruce also.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 6:07PM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

Agree, White spruce.

Dax

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 6:52PM
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pmsmith2032(5b Suburbs of Chicago)

Thanks everyone. We really don't have any attachment to it so I have no problem digging it up. Below is a picture of a douglas fir (I think) that was transplanted at the same time as the spruce. It's tripled in size since we planted and seems to be doing great!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 7:58PM
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pineresin

Second tree is a fir (Abies), not a douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga)

Resin

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 8:21PM
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pmsmith2032(5b Suburbs of Chicago)

Thanks! Is a regualr fir okay for landscaping. It's in the front yard and like I said, seems to be growing quickly.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 8:54PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Sure is but it will get rather wide. How far is it from the sidewalk? It might be a cute little fella now but do you want this plant to block any views from the front?

Personally I've never been a fan of species sized conifers in smaller urban sized front yards.

It was painful for me to cut down a perfectly shaped 9' tall white spruce from my front yard but it had to be done.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 9:52PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Good looking tree.

Limbing it up to clear the sidewalk is an option a decade or so from now. Folks do it to open grown oaks all the time.

Many on here are quite the collectors and I think sometimes we get an eye for the odd or extreme (see my metasequoia cultivar fascination. now those are trees ppl do not miss!)

If other firs in your neighborhood look healthy and desireable at maturity no reason yours should not.

Far as landscaping preference goes just imagine one of them in that spot and if it works for you it works.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 11:25PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

as compared to a potted tree/conifer...

digging a ball and burlap or however you did it.. short of bare rooting it... you really have no clue what the digging did to the root mass ...

and i think .... not unlike me.. you slaughtered this one ... not so bad that it died immediately.. but close enough that it never recovered its vigor ....

so.. you are one for two ... not bad for a novice ..

be done with it.. and try again ... at proper planting time ...

you might want to increase the mulch around your trees/conifers .. and insure there is not weedkiller drift in dealing with the lawn .... my mulch circles would be at least one foot more than the edge of the tree ... that also keeps the weedwhip away .. and insures you only have to increase the ring.. every second or third year ...

ken

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 8:17AM
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dietzjm

Second tree is Abies balsamea. Did you get it from northern Wisco as well?

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 11:20AM
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pmsmith2032(5b Suburbs of Chicago)

Yes I did. The bottom of it isn't shaped the greatest but the top looks good. It's actually located to one side of our driveway. It's approximately 10' from the driveway, 10' from the sidewalk (not on the parkway) and 10' from the neighbor's lot line.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 11:44AM
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