We planted a 7 gallon spruce tree this May and it had been doing well until the last 3 or 4 days. We water every 6 days for 20-30 minutes with a slow flow hose. It gets a ton of sun, and we have had basically no rain this spring and record breaking temps this summer in Montana. But 4 out of 6 of the same trees we planted are doing well, and they are planted in a line on the top of a bank above a private dirt road. No one has added herbicides, and there doesn't seem to be insect infestation (although insects are killing our much older douglas fir nearby with a top-down death as well.)
Is this one dying, as you can see from the wilting new sprigs on the top and can we save it? If so, how? Should we be watering more? As of now, temps are in the 80's day/50's night, but do go into the 90's at times.
Hi Risa, was it a potted tree or balled and burlapped? What did the roots look like ? I am wondering if they were spiralled or rootbound in any way or had been pruned?
Where did you buy them from ? They might have some sort of return policy.
I planted a couple of spruce years ago and they both died. I took them back and got two more and they are now monsters.
Sometimes they just die from being transplanted.
Dying from the top down like that might be a sign of underer-watering. You could try watering the trees a bit more and see if their condition improves. If it doesn't, top killing of trees like that is also highly characteristic of root rot fungi - particularly Armillaria. You can check at the base of the larger Doug-fir for the characteristic mycelial fans running along the cambium layer of the roots.
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