pruning blue spruce

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by L Buchanan, Apr 14, 2003.

  1. L Buchanan

    L Buchanan Member

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    I am looking for the best way to prune a 20 foot high blue spruce. It is in Kamloops. I have read lot's of articles that incorrect pruning can cause cankers etc. I need to trim back the size. Removing the spruce is not an option.
     
  2. HortLine

    HortLine Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Blue spruce....Picea pungens glauca ...can grow to 40ft or so.

    runing is always a problem. We certainly do not recommend topping!

    Spiral pruning, removing say every 3rd branch, would reduce the vigour .

    When choosing a tree , it is advisable to check all the available cultivars.
    'Fat Albert" to 15ft by 7ft wide,
    'Bakeri' to 12 ft by 5 ft
    'Globosa" to 3ft by 3 ft
    'Hoopsii to 36 ft by 12 ft All these cvs are available in B.C. and give some idea of the different dimensions!
     
  3. Beekeroo

    Beekeroo Member

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    Please suggest the best possible month to prune a blue spruce. I live in central Oklahoma. Thanx in advance.

    bckelly121@cox.net
     
  4. T. Shane Freeman

    T. Shane Freeman Active Member

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    Location:
    Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
    Whenever a situation calls for a conifer to be pruned or sheared, I typically recommend that one should avoid the period from early spring to summer to early fall. The following is a list of a few important reasons for this:

    1. The unsympathetic heat of summer already stresses these trees to breaking point. Additional stress inflicted by pruning will not aid in its mission to survive.

    2. This period during the growing season of trees is also the productive time when cankerous spores, such as Cytospora (the fungal agent which causes Cytospora Canker in Colorado, Norway, and White Spruces), is at peak production. By limiting the potential points of entry, the pathogen will have a less successful chance of infection.

    3. I also try to avoid early spring, for this is the time when trees are under a great amount of stress, for they are spending a huge amount of their stored energy reserves in order to produce flowers, fruit (cones), and new, juvenile leaves (needles). Pruning at this time will remove some of this stored energy and as a result cause further stresses.

    Therefore, I typically prune in late fall.................often following the first frost (keeping in mind that this is location specific). However, there are always exceptions to the rules, for the predescribe are merely guidelines.

    T. Shane Freeman
     
  5. Pruning roots/Blue Spruce

    We have trimmed the lower branches of our blue spruce up to 10 feet in height so we can walk underneath them. My wife would like to dig around the base of the trees and put down mulch and put down plants. The problem is the spruces have some roots exposed that wouldn't be covered by the mulch. Will it damage the trees to cut the exposed roots off? I thought that fir trees had tap roots that was the most important root. Please advise and thanks in advance.
     
  6. douglas

    douglas Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    princegeorge b.c
    Rather than cutting the roots and risk loosing the tree from either stress or wind.( They need thier lateral roots for stability)

    You might want to think about raising the bed. Keeping in mind that around the base you will want to keep a well area at least 3 to 6 inches away from the base to allow for air flow.

    Regards Doug
     

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