How to Care for a Norway Spruce

Overview

Norway spruce (Picea abies) is a coniferous tree that will grow to 80 feet in height with a 40-foot spread. Although it is frequently used as a windbreak, its size makes it useful as an ornamental only on larger residential lots. Hardy in USDA zones 3 through 7, the Norway spruce's ideal growing conditions include full sun and acidic, moist soil. It does, however, thrive in a wide variety of conditions, is drought-tolerant in maturity and will grow in alkaline and clay soil, as long as the roots aren't continuously moist.

Step 1

Apply a fresh, 4-inch layer of mulch around the Norway spruce each spring. Keep the mulch 2 inches from the base of the tree and spread it in a 4-foot radius around it.

Step 2

Water your Norway spruce once a week during the summer, until mid-August. Place a soaker hose at the drip line, completely surrounding the tree, and let it run for at least one hour.

Step 3

Fertilize the Norway spruce tree once a month, beginning when you see new growth in the spring. Use a 20-20-20 fertilizer at the rate suggested on the package. Discontinue fertilizing in August.

Step 4

Inspect the Norway spruce for mite infestations. These insects are difficult to see but if the tree is experiencing yellowing, at the base of the oldest needles, suspect a mite infestation. For heavy infestations use insecticidal soap or a commercial miticide, according to label directions.

Things You'll Need

  • Mulch
  • Soaker hose
  • Fertilizer
  • Insecticidal soap
  • Miticide

References

  • Ohio State University: Norway Spruce
  • University of Minnesota: Spruce Spider Mite
Keywords: Norway spruce care, grow Norway spruce, caring Norway spruce

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.