picea glauca turning brown

jablomFebruary 1, 2014

Hey Everyone,

Im new here so go easy on me.

We recently bought a picea glauca and it was doing fine indoors, about 2 weeks ago we put it outside and it has started to turn brown. See picture.

Im getting some abuse from the wife because she said the sun is causing it and we should have left it indoors.

Ive checked for spider mites and i dont see anything, its watered every 2nd day right now because the weather is very hot and it gets about 6 hours of afternoon sun.

Any ideas what is causing this and how to fix?


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Hello, I am not a professional, only hobby gardener, but this fungus destroyed me perhaps more than fifty dwarf spruces.
Dense died first. You have to use fungicides that contain strobilurines. In my country Czech rep. Europe -amistar, ortiva, zato etc ...
Jan Slama wbgarden

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 4:43AM
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More images ...

Jan Slama wbgarden

Here is a link that might be useful: wbgarden

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 4:45AM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

Where do you live and how long this winter was it inside?
Looks like a Dwarf Alberta Spruce. They are hosts to a whole set of problems which usually can be solved with a little knowledge of their likes and dislikes.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 6:17AM
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Looks eerily similar to that slama, but i don't think its fungus.

Live in Melbourne, Australia and the plant was inside since we bought it, it hasnt seen a winter yet since its fairly new. Winter here is June-August.

Temps here over the last 3-4 weeks have reached 45 Celsius, and it looks burnt more than anything but can you burn trees with sunlight?

I was also reading that it may be stress?

Also its only like this on 1 side and i did rotate the tree several times to get an even amount of sun.

Any solutions you can recommend mikebotann?

Her is another pic

This post was edited by jablom on Sun, Feb 2, 14 at 7:35

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 7:32AM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

I think I would do this:

take it out of the pot in the shade somewhere.

have new potting mix and a larger pot ready. a pot twice the size of the current.

shake the plant and using a glove run your hands over the whole plant and get everything that will naturally fall off the plant that is brown... off of it.

then prune off and branches that are lifeless.

Then open up the rootball using your fingers like a comb on a persons hair. Get all that old soil off and allow the roots to hang down. Then prune off about 1/3 of the roots giving it a haircut as gardeners call it.

Then re-pot it and while you re-pot, keep the roots spread apart as best as you are able to do. What I do is... I make a volcano shape in the middle of the pot with the new (moistened prior) media that loods like an upside down V - just like that in the pot and drape the root system over the upside down V and carefully & individually spread the new root system equally over and around the volcano shape. Your volcano should be about 3" below the rim of the new container. When you're satisfied that you've done well, now fill in the container to the level of 3" below the pot's rim. Then water the new media well.

Now is your call but if it were me, I'd probably spray that whole plant (gonna get some feedback about this, negative) but I'd spray it once with a fungicide and an insecticide while it is in the shade and allow those to fully dry. If you choose this route, you might as well keep it in the shade/partial sun for a full day.

That's all I can recommend. That's all anyone could if you went the full route that is available to you.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 7:58AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

you are cooking it against a white wall in 6 hours sun... might even call that 12 hours of sun on all sides of the plant ... you should have hardened it off to sunlight ... [wifey is probably right.. sorry.. lol]

the pots too small for 6 hours of sun for that size plant .. you are probably cooking the roots no matter how much water.. the pot probably gets too hot ..especially as you say it been real hot ... and the mound of rocks holds the heat around the pot late into night ... roots do not appreciate heat ...

i am surprised this could turn that brown in 2 weeks ... and we will never know if it was damaged before you got it ...

is it guaranteed?? .. if so.. return it ...

the future is all in the buds... and i was going ot say.. you will know when it flushed this spring.. but you are in summer.. so its done flushing for this season .... hmmmmm ... it might flush out fine next spraing.. but the question might be.. whether you want to listen to wifey until then.. lol ....

put it on the north side of the house.. no sun .. but bright shade..

and water it.. WHEN IT NEEDS IT.. not every two days... this will cool it.. get the small pot out of the sun.. and hopefully it might recover.. presuming you cant return it ..

find out if you can return it ... perhaps while wifey isnt looking.. lol ....

the bottom line.. large TREES.. in small pots ... can not go in the sun ... unless fully hardened off to sun.. and planted in mother earth ... but again.. i would not plant trees in the high heat of summer.... but thats another post ...


ps: i dont buy jans theory .... its possible.. but not probable .. a healthy plant should not have done what yours did ... and one would presume.. that a recent purchase should have been healthy ... and that is not to say.. it couldnt have had prior burn.. i mean mass producers usually spray plants to avoid fungus, bugs, etc ...

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 11:19AM
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Thanks for the replies, guys,

Ill see if i can return it, if not ill try and salvage it somehow.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 3:10PM
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Hi, so long I was listening progardeners words about burning sun and improper care etc etc.
Last year Iôv been starting intesive fungicide treatment.
Results here.
Habitus went to hell, but during some years etc etc.
Trees live.
Sorry for my english.

Morning pictures.
Jan Slama wbgarden

Here is a link that might be useful: wbgarden

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 6:18PM
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