Dwarf Alberta Spruce

by Norm
(Grand Island, Nebraska)

I live in Nebraska, Zone 5a and I am wondering if I plant a Darwf Alberta Spruce on the east side of my house, about 3.5 feet from the house with it being in area that will just get a few hours of the morning sun whether this will work or not? Thanks!

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by: Jacki

Hi Norm, without knowing a bit more about your situation, I don't know what to tell you. Here are some other factors that you should take into consideration;

Wind; what is the most common direction, and will the tree get the brunt of this in the winter? This is often an issue with these trees, as the ground can be frozen, but the dry wind desiccates the needles, most often on the side to the prevailing wind.

Soil type; if your soil is predominantly clay, forget it. Being of the Picea genus, these trees need good drainage, and they won't thrive in heavy soil. They require sandy or even gravelly soil, especially as a subsoil so water doesn't pool around the roots.

Also, three and a half feet from the foundation of a house is asking for trouble. The overhang of the eaves generally will cause the soil to be too dry around the side of the tree closest to the house, and this also will cause needle drop. At least ten feet away and the tree will be happier.

The light level, if your house is open to the sky on that side with no neighbors will be adequate, although it is best to have longer daylength for best growth. If there is a neighboring house on that side, keep in mind that this will shade the tree from even those few hours of morning sun in the winter. Conifers need more light all year, not like deciduous trees.

I once moved into a house with a couple of these trees on the south east corner of the building, in a raised bed where they did exceptionally well, even though the soil was almost pure clay, so raising them up could be the answer for you too, all other factors being taken into consideration.

more info
by: Norm

Where I would like to plant these Dwarf Alberta Spruce on the east side of my house is an open area with no adjacent houses. The wind I would say generally comes out of the North but is blocked somewhat by a 50 foot Blue Spruce about 25 to 30 feet away.

I realize this is an apple and oranges thing but I do have 2 shrubs/bushes on that side of the house that seem to thrive year after year.

Because of existing landscaping and location there is just no way I could move the planting location more than 4 feet away from the house. Would there be something similar to the Dwarf Alberta Spruce that would do better under the conditions I have listed?


I would try it...
by: Jacki

But start with a small one to see how it does. They are slow growing, so it could take a while to get to any size but at least it wouldn't cost so much. A mid sized one, about two to three feet tall, will set you back about $50 at least, but you probably know that.

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