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Planting Spruce Trees

When planting spruce trees, care must be taken in choosing a spot. Most spruce trees have a shallow root system and are easily uprooted by strong winds. Depending on the cultivar you choose, the spruce tree may prefer full sun or sun. Full sun is defined as more than six hours of continuous sunlight per day. Sun is defined as up to six hours of continuous sunlight per day. Spruce trees, depending on the cultivar, will thrive in various types of soil.

Dig a planting hole as deep as the root ball and three times as wide as the root ball. Scarify the sides of the planting hole with the pitchfork. Fill the planting hole with water.

Center the spruce tree in the planting hole. Backfill with the soil that was removed from the planting hole. Do not amend the soil. As you are backfilling, gently tamp the soil down around the rootball.

Build a 3-inch high watering ring around the perimeter of the planting hole. The watering ring could be leveled out after the tree becomes established, but it is advisable to leave the watering ring in place for at least a year. The watering ring helps to divert water to the outside roots of the spruce and it also helps you save water.

Mulch the spruce with 3 inches of compost or pulverized bark. The compost or pulverized bark helps keep moisture in the ground. It also helps to protect the spruce during cold winters.

Water the spruce with at least an inch of water. After planting, water the spruce once a week during dry spells with at least an inch of water. If it rains during the week and the rain is heavy, you can forego watering for that week. Deep watering is preferable to shallow watering. Spruce trees have a naturally shallow root system and shallow watering encourages shallower root systems.


If the spruce is balled and burlaped and the burlap is organic, you can leave the burlap on the root ball. It will disintegrate over time and provide the spruce with additional nutrients. If the burlap is synthetic, remove the burlap, as synthetic burlap will not decompose.

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