Yellowish spruce trees

Asked April 11, 2016, 10:39 PM EDT

Hello: Early last summer (May I believe) I planted a white spruce, white pine, three Black Hills Spruce and a Colorado Blue spruce, all in a brand new backyard. (New home construction completed in Nov 2014 so last spring, I installed the landscaping including the above mentioned spruce.) They vary in height from 4 ft avg to the white pine, which was probably 4-5 ft last spring and literally grew a foot or more since I planted it. They came from a local nursery and were very healthy when planted. Soil: I believe in the entire lawn has a lot of mixed clay in it, which isn't a great thing - harder than stone when it's dry, slime when it's wet. Not a fan but it is what it is. PROBLEM: All six trees have taken on a golden/yellowish hue in color. They are not brown and losing needles or rusting like they're dying. The White Pine did lose needles as expected last fall. But they all have this yellowish cast to them. I did put fertilizer spikes on the outside perimiters of the trees when I planted them - probably 2 ft or so away from the trunk - 3 or 4 per tree as instructed. Anything I'm doing wrong? Is it soil conditions? The fertilizer? Will they green up ever? They look healthy overall - just that they've got yellow jaundice. Can this be corrected? Please advise. Thank you!

Stearns County Minnesota spruce trees

1 Response

The best soil for evergreens is fertile, well drained soil. I suggest in addition to the tree spikes sprinkling a nitrogen fertilizer under the trees at the rate of 2-4 lbs/100 sq.ft. (.2 lbs/10 sq. ft.), mulching under the trees and watering once a week if it doesn't rain. Also do a soil test to see if the pH is very high.
It may take some time for the trees to adjust to compacted clay soil and to soil that is not as fertile as the soil in the nursery.