Help for shrub / bush / spruce

Asked January 14, 2017, 4:15 PM EST

To Whom It May Concern: Thank you in advance for your help and I sure do need your assistance. I have a bush or shrub or spruce and frankly, I don’t know what it is. But I like it and I call it the “Hershey Kiss” bush (because of the shape). It has been here since I purchased the house about 15 years ago and has full sun in the front of the house. There is good drainage on this 7 foot tree with average soil Briefly, the needles seem sparse, the branches seem in decline and the overall health of the bush is sad, for lack of a better word. It is just languishing or status quo from year to year and never looks any better. When Spring comes, I would like to do whatever you suggest to restore this bush to health. I have never done anything before to help it but now I would like to restore this bush back to health. What could I do to restore this bush to health. Please see the attached pictures. Thank you,

Montgomery County Maryland branch dieback alberta spruce shrub

1 Response

The plant in the photos looks like an Alberta spruce. This is native to Canada and the N. U.S. Grows best in full sun and moist soils but not wet ones. It does not like a lot of stress. Reasons for branch dieback include poor drainage and/or spider mites, an insect. http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/spider-mites-trees-and-shrubs
We cannot say for sure but it looks like you may have a downspout nearby that may be diverting water in the root area. If so, all you can do is improve the drainage and Prune dead branches.
The tree will not revert to its former glory.
Since this plant is located in a prominent location of your landscape, we recommend replacing with another type of plant. Maybe an upright holly.

mh