Norway spruce pruning help

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by MW66, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. MW66

    MW66 Member

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    Hello:

    I have a number of fairly yound Norway spruce trees on my property and every year, as is the case this year, they grow 2 - 3 foot+ leaders from the top. They look sort of ridiculous and I want to make sure that I don't have sparse growth between the branches as they mature. How much of the top leader should I trim back and what is the best time of year? My friend told me now is the best time, but I'm not sure? It's just the fast growing Norways that are giving me problems and the Colorado's never need pruning.
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    The branches will fill the gaps naturally, no need to do any pruning. Pruning would make the appearance worse, as it destroys the symmetry of the branching.
     
  3. MW66

    MW66 Member

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    That's interesting because I have seen many unpruned Norway spruce trees and they have gaps that look quite unsightly? Maybe I'll skip the pruning this year and see what develops next year.
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  5. MW66

    MW66 Member

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    Those do like nice. Is it just in the young stage that they look a little gangly? I'll try to post a picture later tonight or tomorrow. Do you think that giving them fertilizer would cause some of this rapid growth. Wild trees obviously don't get fertilizer, but my yrd trees do. Thanks for the photos and I'll post a picture soon.
     
  6. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yes, they'll grow out of it fairly soon.
     
  7. MW66

    MW66 Member

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    Check out these pictures I took this evening, hopefully you can see the top leaders. They are 2 - 3 feet tall! I'm guessing at this point that you'll say to leave them.

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  8. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Very nice! Yep, best to keep them as they are. Note how there is a ring of buds tight together near the lead bud; these will give a neat symmetrical ring of large branches. Lower down the lead shoot is a scattering of smaller buds; these will give a fill-in of more randomly-arranged, smaller shoots. Pruning off the top would leave you with just those smaller shoots which are not symmetrically arranged. It would also risk getting a forked stem with two side branches competing to take over as a new lead shoot; forked trees are more liable to fail in a storm.
     

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