This little guy is suffering and I'm not sure how to help him out. Any ideas?

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1 Answer 1


This is a dwarf Alberta spruce (Picea glauca conica). They grow slowly and burn easily if sited so they are exposed to cold winter winds. Sadly almost all of eastern North America was subject to very cold temperatures in the winter of 2013-2014. Your spruce looks a lot better than many I have seen. Even my dwarf white pine suffered burn on the south side and they are tougher than Alberta Spruce.

As for what can you do:

  • ensure adequate water supply in summer and fall before freeze up
  • fertilize lightly during the growth season (spring to early summer)
  • reduce exposure to cold winds by fences or other plants
  • check for spider mites as indicated in the link
  • top dress or mulch if possible with organic matter

Edit: after reviewing the picture this plant is sited in a dry area. Concrete foundations are porous and will absorb water and I believe this plant is located under the house eaves. A drip irrigation system and a timer would go a long ways towards making it easy to water.

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