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My poor old spruce shrubs!

Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 4:29 pm
by luvmyyard65
What can I do about my bedraggled spruce shrubbery, which has been in place around my deck in the back yard for more than 22 years? I'd like to revitalize them in some way, rather than remove them altogether. Any suggestions? :oops:

spruce shrubbery?

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:24 am
by rainbowgardener
I'm not sure what spruce shrubbery is. Do you mean spruce trees?
There's limited amount you can do to them. If you prune back into bare wood, it will not regrow and you will have a bare spot. And if you cut the top off it will grow multiple new leaders (main stems) from that spot which weakens it, makes it prone to damage.

Here's an article about pruning evergreens which may help:

If you mean something else, tell us specifically what kind of bushes you have. I think spruce is always trees not bushes.

spruce shrubs

Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:38 am
by valleytreeman
I suspect luv is talking about Dwarf Alberta Spruce, Globe blue spruce or some type of birds nest spruce.... all dwarf shrub type of spruces. As RBG indicated there is only a limited amount of prunning you can do to rejuvenate them. You can shape them a little but probably not do any real size reduction. Sometimes conniferous shrubs get beyond rehab and its time to replace them.

Re: My Poor old Spruce Shrubs

Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:55 pm
by luvmyyard65
Many thanks to both of you for responding. I've been away, and just now read your answers. Let me clarify: I did indeed mean something more like dwarf Alberta spruce shrubs, and not actual spruce trees. I don't know the exact name of the shrubs I'm refering to, since they were here at the house when I bought it more than 20 years ago (that in itself might be the problem!). However, they are no more than about 3.5 - 4 feet tall, and line the front of our house, and are found around the deck in the back as well. I've tried a bit of pruning, and have used additives like Job fertilizer spikes and Hollytone as well, but nothing really seems to work well for long. It's probably time to buy new ones. Garden shop, here I come!!

Thanks again for your help! :)