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growing dwarf alberta spruce in a pot

Hi Everyone!

I picked up two dwarf alberta spruce trees (about 2ft tall) and was looking to plant them in 16inch pots outside. I drilled several holes in the bottom of each pot and added 2 inches of crushed stone, but did not fill with soil. Do my trees have any chance of surviving in 16inch pots? If so what would be the best time to move them out of the little containers they came in? Do I need to do anything with the root system of the tree before moving it in to the pot? What type of soil should I get?
Thank you very much!

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Super Green Thumb
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It wants to be in a pot with a diameter twice the size of the rootball. Otherwise mainly it needs good well draining acidic soil, some kind of potting soil with peat moss would be good. And it does not like hot sun, so keep it somewhere with filtered light or morning sun only. As soon as possible is the best time to get it out of the little pot! :)
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Your new trees can do well in pots, I have a small group of them that were novelty Christmas trees and were given to me for free and they are fine after about 5 years. Rainbowgardener is correct about not moving up too quickly, best to do it in stage otherwise the large mass of soil will stay wet longer than you would like.

I would not use a drainage layer as it does not serve that purpose. Due to water's inherent desire to cling to itself using a drainage layer will only move the damp layer higher in the pot which does not improve drainage. If you need it to keep the soil from leaking out of the drainage holes (I use screen) use a shallow layer only.

Due to the long term nature of keeping trees in pots soil collapse becomes more of an issue than it would be if you were growing annuals or seedlings that might only spend a few months in a container. To help eliminate problems with drainage and soil collapse the key thing to keep in mind is particle size. Traditional potting soils, that would be appropriate in a different situation, becomes problematic for long term use. Don't forget, you might not re-pot for 3-5 years.

I have to go now but please read over this thread and make sure to follow the links, some are dead but most are active.


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Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 3:11 pm
Location: Philadelphia PA

thank you guys.

This is what it looks like in the pot. I used Monrovia soil amendment as potting soil and removed 1 inch of stone from the bottom of the pot


Does anybody know how and when I can try to shape them in to spirals?

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