An extremely common site in the typical Alberta landscape, Spruce trees make up an important part of the urban forest. From the tiny little Grade 1 seedlings that are handed out throughout the province, to the 100+ years old mammoths that tower over the older residential neighbourhoods, Spruce trees provide year-round foliage, attractive colour, and important habitat for Alberta's urban wildlife. But a question that gets posed fairly often is how does one maintain the health and beauty of this species while keeping a low risk for failure during extreme weather conditions.
Spruce trees are prone to several different diseases and infestations, such as Cytospora Canker, Needle Cast, Adelgid Aphids, and Yellow Headed Spruce Sawfly. Management of tree health becomes extremely important in order to give the tree the tools it needs to fight these pests off.
Blue Spruce like it high and dry, and need properly drained soils, but don't forget to provide water in those times of drought. White and Black Spruce can handle a little more moisture in their root systems. All Spruce in urban locations generally require additional water than what Mother Nature provides, as most urban spaces are designed for runoff and not moisture retention. Soil injection watering is the most effective form of watering a tree, as little moisture evaporates or runs off in to the storm sewer system. A properly watered tree is the safest tree, allowing it the flexibility it needs in adverse weather conditions.
All conifers,and Spruce are no exception, need proper mineral content in the soil in order to flourish. Micro and Macro-Nutrient levels are important to maintain. If the soil isn't being ammended naturally then Deep Root Fertlizer injection takes a high priority.
Call a Certified Arborist if you have any questions about trees or tree health!