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norwegian spruce info help

 
Risa Sibbitt
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So we bought a live spruce tree for christmas and plan to plant it once the ground thaws in the srping. I"m pretty sure it's Norwegian Spruce. It started growing in the house due to the warmth.... not a problem.

My problem is:
I noticed once it started growing sprouts that the TOP is lacking needles. I'm wondering if it had been CUT before we bought it, and is that a problem for growth? It's almost like there is sap on the top. Will it be stunted? We bought it to block out the view of the neighbor, so if it doesn't grow, I'd frustrated with the seller.

Second, some of the needles are turning brown and fall off when i touch them, even though the new sprouts look healthy. Am I watering it not enough, too much? I water about every 1.5 weeks. It lives in 72 degree weather, but it sometimes gets up to 80 in the house, sometimes down to 60.

Thanks for your help.
IMG_4921.JPG
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top of tree--sap? cut?
IMG_4920.JPG
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sprouts near top of tree
 
Bill Erickson
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That is nice that you bought a live tree. What is your outdoor environment? If it is getting sappy I'd figure it is thinking "Spring!" and is pushing sap from a restricted root environment. My choice would be to put it in an area closer to what is outside than where it goes through all that heating. You might want to do a slow transition on that to basically put it into dormancy until local spring actually starts. Our spruce has been a slow grower, it was 4 feet tall when we moved into our house, it is now 14 feet tall, 15 years later.
 
Risa Sibbitt
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i live in northern montana, so it won't be spring for quite a while. i thought of moving it to another location, but most of the house doesn't receive a lot of sun; the sunniest room also has the wood stove. the only sap is at the top. so that's why i thought it was cut. but i'll see if i can put it somewhere else.

does it look cut to you? and i'm still not sure why some needles are browning and falling off.

 
Bill Erickson
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Risa Sibbitt wrote:i live in northern montana, so it won't be spring for quite a while. i thought of moving it to another location, but most of the house doesn't receive a lot of sun; the sunniest room also has the wood stove. the only sap is at the top. so that's why i thought it was cut. but i'll see if i can put it somewhere else.

does it look cut to you? and i'm still not sure why some needles are browning and falling off.



To answer the question, yes it does look cut. Did it look that way when you go it?

Most of the times when I have needles falling off it is usually due to either heat stress or water shortage. I'm going to guess that it might have more to do with our light levels this time of year. Any way you look at it, I'd expect it all to work out once you plant it this spring (I'd go for May on my place in the Flathead). Even with that top cut, I'm confident it is going to establish a new leader just below that. It could take some time, but I'm pretty certain it will happen.
 
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