Planting & protecting very small Black Hills Spruce trees

Asked July 8, 2019, 12:46 PM EDT

I purchased 3 young Black Hills Spruce trees at a local store yesterday. They are 24" tall & 10" wide. They look very healthy & are from a local grower, D&Js Greenhouse in Monticello, MN. I have the perfect place for them with plenty of room. I have read how to plant them. What can I do to protect them from pests that weaken or even kill them? I would like to be ahead of any attack or infestation. Thank you, in advance, for your reply. Linda in Rosemount

Dakota County Minnesota

1 Response

The biggest concern with saplings is rodents and rabbits. I would recommend keeping some chicken wire around them at least through their first year. It's not the nicest looking, but it's better than feeding the local wildlife!

Spruce trees can be susceptible to a few different diseases and insects - mostly attacking the needles, so keep an eye on the needles or any chewing or discoloration - when caught early, most issues are easily managed. I will include a link to issues that could happen to a Spruce so you're informed on what to watch for.

Winter can also be hard on new trees - I will link an article below on how best to prepare your trees for winter.

Protecting trees and shrubs in the winter: https://extension.umn.edu/planting-and-growing-guides/protecting-trees-and-shrubs-winter
Keep an eye on spruce during the rainy spring: https://www.myminnesotawoods.umn.edu/2019/05/keep-an-eye-on-your-spruces-during-our-rainy-spring/
What's wrong with my plant - spruce: https://apps.extension.umn.edu/garden/diagnose/plant/evergreen/spruce/index.html