The following is a short list of tips for caring for your blue spruce tree(s).
Blue Spruce trees can survive with a relatively low amount of water, but the water they do receive must reach its roots deep in the ground.The only way to do this is to trickle water at the base of the tree for an extended period of time.
The quality of the water is also important.Rainwater and dam water are ideal, but quality well water is also acceptable.With well water, it is better if the water does not touch the needles of the tree.It is also helpful to utilize rainwater as much as possible when well water is your only other source.One good way to do that is to arrange your down spout so that rain water is routed to a tree, or store the rain water in a barrel and water the tree with that water later.Another effective tool is mulch.
Mulch is a necessity for trees that do not have access to large amounts of high quality water.Some good materials to use for mulch are straw, wood chips and bark.3 to 4 inches of mulch should be placed over the entire drip line of the tree.This is approximately a 4 foot radius around the tree.This helps to keep down weeds and grass, which compete with your tree for water and nutrients.It also stores water around the tree so it can survive on much less water.Some weeds are still likely to get through your mulch, but a little bit of roundup or an occasional weeding should easily take care of the problem.
A well mulched tree will usually not need much watering until the spring rains have subsided.Watering should occur during long absences from rain throughout the summer and fall.Stop watering in mid-August to allow the tree to harden off for winter.Give the tree one last good soak after the leaves have fallen off of all the deciduous trees to tide the tree over through the winter.Watering can even be done during the winter if it is a very dry winter.
Too much water can adversely affect the tree in two ways.(1) If your soil is not well drained, water can linger in the top several inches of the ground so that the roots cannot breath through the soil.This will have damaging effects on the tree.(2) Too much well water can leave behind a buildup of minerals, which will reduce the quality of the soil.
A tree that is suffering from drought will begin to form brown needles near the top of the tree and the tips of the branches.This will continue down the tree towards the bottom and center as the drought continues.Any other pattern of browning in the tree is caused by something else.
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