How to Grow Norway Spruce

Overview

The Norway spruce is a native of Europe and known there as the mountain spruce. This evergreen can grow more than 100 feet tall and 40 feet wide if given proper space and care. Once the tree is established, maintenance is minimal, however it requires more water than most landscape trees. The Norway spruce has been used at Rockefeller Center in New York City as the Christmas tree outside the skating rink. Also commonly found as Christmas trees in homes, the trees are excellent windbreaks and screens.

Step 1

Choose a location that has full sun, is high enough that water will not pool after a hard rain and is at least 20 feet from other plantings. Plant any time from spring to six weeks before the first frost date.

Step 2

Dig a hole twice the diameter and depth of the root ball of the tree. Remove all lawn grass, weeds and stones from the dug-out soil. Amend the soil you removed with 1 part compost to 2 parts soil if the soil is heavy clay and does not drain well. If the soil does drain well, reduce the compost to 1 part to 4 parts soil for added nutrition.

Step 3

Place amended soil back into the planting hole. Add enough to bring the level up to where 1 inch of the trunk of the tree above the root ball will be covered when the planting hole is filled. Water the soil and tamp it to remove air pockets.

Step 4

Soak the roots of the tree in a bucket for 15 minutes before placing it in the planting hole and spreading out the roots . Cover half of the root ball with soil and water. Continue to fill until the soil is level with the surrounding ground. Tamp the soil down well to compact it, then water again to saturate the soil.

Step 5

Water the tree to keep the soil evenly moist for three months to establish the roots. Then cut back the watering to once a week unless the weather is extremely hot, dry or windy.

Step 6

Apply a slow release 20-20-20 fertilizer once during the first growing season. During the following seasons, fertilize with a well-balanced fertilizer for evergreens, twice a month in spring and once a month in summer and early fall. Do not fertilize during the winter when the tree is dormant. Follow manufacturer's directions for the amount needed.

Step 7

Hand-pick weeds 3 feet around the tree for the first two months. Then apply mulch to the area to keep the weeds from growing. Keep the mulch at least 4 inches from the trunk of the tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • 20-20-20 fertilizer
  • Mulch

References

  • Fast Growing Trees: Norway Spruce Trees
  • US DEP: Picea abies (Norway Spruce)
  • National ChristmasTree Association: Norway Spruce
Keywords: growing Norway spruce, spruce tree care, Christmas trees

About this Author

Dale DeVries is a retired realtor with 30 years of experience in almost every facet of the business. DeVries started writing in 1990 when she wrote advertising and training manuals for her real estate agents. Since retiring, she has spent the last two years writing well over a thousand articles online for Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios.