Dwarf Globe Blue Spruce Needs Pruning

Asked August 9, 2015, 2:11 PM EDT

I know we made a "mistake" and planted a dwarf globe blue spruce shrub as a foundation planting and it will soon be too large for its space. Right now it's ~4' diameter and ~3' tall and this is the size we'd like to maintain. Actually would PREFER to decrease the height by ~4" if possible. We'd really like to keep this beautiful shrub where it is. So we would appreciate any advice on how to keep its size in check. So, we'd appreciate answers to these questions, please: * WHEN and HOW and HOW OFTEN to prune it? * Would it be FEASIBLE to take some (perhaps 4) INCHES OFF THE TOP (because it's close to the top of the bottom of a dwarf lilac tree)? IF so, how to best decrease the height without killing the shrub? Is it best to simply try to keep it from getting taller, rather than shorten it a bit? * Am I right that this would be a difficult shrub to transplant? Roots are deep, I assume. Would this be a shrub that an older couple could dig up and transplant by ourselves? We hope not to have to cut the shrub down; and even if we did this I expect that the roots would be problematic if we wanted to re-plant something there. Any best direction you can provide would be very much appreciated. I appreciate U of MN Extension and this "ask a question" service to our state. Rose

Winona County Minnesota transplanting pruning woody plants

1 Response

Hi Rose,

First of all I'm pretty sure this shrub could be transplanted but it would take lots of digging, lots of muscle and lots of soil around the root ball. It's not inconceivable that the whole thing could end up weighing a few hundred pounds. A professional company would be able to assess the chances of success, and of course do the work for you.

Spruce can be pruned, but if your intention is to thwart it's natural propensity to be much larger you will end up with a plant that has a dead interior and a thin green shell of living leaves (needles).

Pruning should occur in late winter - early spring.

Here is some good information about pruning spruce:
http://www.ext.colostate.edu/mg/Gardennotes/617.html
https://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/HO-4.pdf

I hope this answers your questions. Please get back to us if you have further questions.