9 or 10 yr old globe blue spruce as foundation planting too big

Asked May 2, 2017, 1:56 PM EDT

  1. How can i reduce/prune a globe blue spruce to keep it looking good. It is currently about 5 or 6 ft diameter


1 Response

As you can see by your plant's example, a dwarf form of spruce ( globe or bird's nest, etc...) is just a slower growing, smaller version of a regular spruce. That means it grows just a few inches or less per year, and its mature size can be 6 feet or larger, whereas its regular sized 'relatives' get 40 or more feet tall. The 'dwarf' term is a relative one.

You can clip a spruce a limited amount- typically 1-3 inches- if you don't clip it back to a bare branch. Bare wood will not re-sprout new needles, but remain bare. Best results are achieved by using sharp bypass pruners, not a hedge trimmer.

If this specimen has exceeded the size for its location it may be time to replace it. However, first try clipping it and see if you like the result. If not, you can replace it then. Here is info for trimming spruce:
From Morton Arboretum:
"Spruces have individual, angled needles with brown pegs at the base of each needle. The pegs remain on the twig after the needles drop, resulting in a rough twig. Buds are scattered along the twigs of the newest growth. Cones are long and pendulous. Although spruces need very little pruning, bottom branches may die with age and can be removed.
* For a formal shape, prune new growth in the spring. Shear in late spring, after new growth has expanded.
* To reduce the size of a branch, cut back to a lateral branch or a visible dormant bud. This can be done at any time."

Some links with helpful illustrations:

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