Briefly

How to plant and prune a spruce?

How to plant and prune a spruce?

The characteristics of spruce

  • Type: tree, conifer
  • Height: up to 30m
  • Desired exposure: sunny, semi-shaded
  • Type of soil: normal, limestone
  • Foliage: persistent
  • Sanitizing: no
  • Diseases and pests: rust

Origins and characteristics of spruce

Spruce, also called Norway spruce, is a plant belonging to the pinaceae family. This resinous tree measures on average between 35 and 40 meters high, but it is not uncommon to see it reach 50, even 60 meters in height in Eastern Europe. The diameter of the trunk only exceptionally exceeds 1.50 meter.

In Europe, there are many spruce forests (forests composed only of spruces). The spruce branches are surrounded by small needles like a bottle brush. They are persistent.

A spruce flower looks like a cone. Male cones are formed on the shoot of the previous year and are yellow, even orange. The female cones are formed at the end of the last branch. Initially turned upwards, they are green or red and hang only when they are fertilized. Little by little, the scales move apart, leaving the seeds to fall, then the cone in turn falls in winter.

TheNorway spruce may live up to 400 years, some may reach 500 years, and much older specimens were found in 2008 in Sweden. These 2-meter-high trees implanted at an altitude of 950 meters are believed to be 5,000 to over 8,000 years old for the oldest (according to carbon 14 dating), making it the oldest living tree on the planet .

The short needle spruces, which are most often found in forests, are called spruce.

The use of spruce as a Christmas tree is rather old, even if today other species are preferred to it.

Spruce plantation

Planting spruce can be done in any season when purchased in a container. However, it is better to avoid days of heavy rain, severe frosts or extreme heat.

Because of their strong wind resistance, it is recommended to plant your spruces rather in a place sheltered from the wind.

A few days before planting, dig a hole 60 cm in diameter and 60 cm deep enriched with organic fertilizer. If the soil is heavy, it is advisable to lighten it with sand. Soak the root ball and the container well, then carefully remove the spruce. Place the root ball in the hole, fill with soil and tamp.

Water imperatively even if the weather is raining. Young spruce plants over 50 cm in height must be guided by a tutor.

For faster growth, be sure to plant healthy spruces that are between 0.60m and 1m in size.

Spruce maintenance

Sprinkler watering only concerns young subjects during the growth period, after planting, and during drought.

The size of the spruce, which is more aptly called pruning, requires the use of suitable devices. Motor saw, pruning shears, manual or chain saw, even hydraulic saw, more sophisticated tools are used to make spruce wood. In the case of a young spruce, a pruning can lead the shrub and give it a harmonious and balanced shape. When the spruce is adult, pruning must take place on the superfluous branches. If it has been properly driven, large branches should not be cut.

Spruce diseases

Spruces are especially sensitive to drought, wind and acid rain.

Spruce diseases are mainly due to fungi and are favored by humidity.

Various kinds of rust attack the needles. This mainly causes aesthetic damage. If the size allows, you can then treat the rust with Bordeaux mixture.

Parasites can also be destructive to spruce such as bark beetles, hylobe and certain aphids. Dwarf varieties of spruce may also be attacked by red spiders.