Dwarf Alberta Spruce needles turning brown

m1chaelAugust 30, 2012


Seems like I am having a heck of a time with plants, etc this year for some reason.

As you can see from the pic, I have 3 DAS that I purchased this past May and have them in big stone containers in front of my garage.

Well about 2-3 weeks ago they started turning brown (all of them have brown on them but one is worse than the others). I water them evenly (usually once a week / thoroughly and then let the roots dry). I checked for the usual suspects (spider mites) by doing the white paper trick on all of them but nothing moved after several minutes.

Thoughts / Suggestions / Can I save them?

I will attach one pic (the worse one) this post and then another pic of a second plant on the next post.



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Here is the second post I referenced with the other tree (not quite as bad but still brown spots).

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 10:21AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5


that is not a big pot.. for a tree ... which it is ...

trees love drainage.. does that pot have holes in the bottom for such..

and also.. you have a very high peat potting media ... which causes problems with drainage ... in regard to trees ...

also.. is that south facing.. a lot of sun on that small pot.. can makes roots much hotter than trees would prefer ...

now.. what to do ... i cant tell from your pix.. but do you see any viable buds at the tips.. i bet not ... if so ... then you just cut out the brown parts ... and then.. decide whether it is worth looking at as is ...

in a few years ... it will all fill back in.. but frankly.. in my world.. it probably isnt worth it ...

its a tough spot you are trying to fill ... especially for a tree ...

perhaps.. if you got a pic of the full drive.. and posted it either here or the perennial forum.. you might get some ideas for trying other things.. next year ... but i am going to guess.. its all going to start with much bigger pots ...


ps: i like your flag ...

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 11:03AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Prone to mites during summer and also doesn't like it too hot and dry, it being a juvenile foliage form the leaves aren't as tough as those of the normal parent species.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 3:01PM
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ken / bboy -

Thanks for your help once again! Interesting comment about the size of the pots...never really considered them not being big enough.

The posts do have a hole at the bottom for drainage. We basically water until we see them leaking from the bottom. That is our gauge.

Not sure I understand about the high peat potting media...are you saying I have the pots / containers filled up with to much potting / planting soil?

The pots are not facing South. They are facing East.

I will try to look for any viable buds and see if I can cut some of the brown away. Although on the one plant there may not be much plant left. Sucks because these little things are pricey...of course seems like all the plants we chose are pricey!

Weird about it might be getting to much sun...I could have swore the tag said "Full Sun" ? And the garden store clerk advised it would be ok in full sun....


    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 12:14PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

Weird about it might be getting to much sun...I could have swore the tag said "Full Sun" ?

==>>> sure.. in mother earth..

you changed the whole game.. when you starting thinking that tiny pot is the equivalent of mother earth ...

it can only take as much sun.. as the properly sampened media its roots are in can provide water.. which the tree can process while in that pot.. in your circumstance ...

peat potting media.. can possibly do two things:

dry so much that you will never be able to re-wet it.. and simply watching water run out the bottom does not tell you if the media is actually uniformly damp .. as need be ... i have seen such pots.. where the center is bone dry ...

or .. it holds so much water.. even with a drain hole.. that is too wet..

so the problem is bipolar.. for lack of a better word ..

you need to poke around in there.. and find out how and when to water.. and how to keep it uniformly moist .. but not at the bipolar ends of the spectrum ...

and.. what they said about spider mites.. which attack already stressed plants more than healthy ones ...

you are working way outside the normal box.. we can offer suggestions.. but the whole process is tricky.. and you are finding that you win some ... and lose some..

i dont know where you are.. but that should be about a $10-20 plant ... unless i am simply not understanding the scale of the pic ... i know thats not free... but that isnt my definition of expensive ...

dont you have a warranty for replacement.???


    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 4:29PM
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