Magazine article American Forests

Sprucing Up the Family Tree

Magazine article American Forests

Sprucing Up the Family Tree

Article excerpt

Q: We have a 40-year-old blue spruce that is approximately 25-feet tall. The past year, some of the inner branches have turned brown, and it looks like it is dying. Do you have any suggestions as to what we could do? We live in northern California and have been suffering a drought for several years. Could this be the cause? We try to water as much as possible. Please help us save our family tree!

A: I am glad you sent in this question, as preserving your family tree and a mature specimen is important. In general, the blue spruce is well-adapted to northern California and even to drought conditions. That said, we are having a historic drought here in California, and the lack of water is affecting the health of trees everywhere. This is especially true in landscapes that were irrigated and now are not. Most plants, and many trees, in our landscapes were developed with, and are dependent on, irrigation. Maintaining sufficient water to those plants that are not easily replaced, such as mature trees, is very important. …

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