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Can Dwarf Alberta Spruce Be Transplanted?

Planting is not a complicated activity, but after a while, you can notice the mistakes you might have made. Today I will tell you how to make changes in the garden correctly.

Dwarf Alberta Spruce can be transplanted, as long as it is done in early spring and the root system has received minimal damage. Also, water it regularly and shade it for a few months.

dwarf alberta spruce transplanting

When to transplant?

The best time to transplant Dwarf Alberta Spruce is early spring. You need to choose a time before the buds start to push out but the soil has already thawed and the plant can put down roots.

The time of day you should transplant in the morning or evening because the temperature can be too high at noon. Also be sure to choose a cloudy day, avoid transplanting on a sunny day.

The second suitable period is the first half of autumn. At this time, conditions are milder for moving.

But if you live in an area where there are strong frosts and frosty winds, the spruce may suffer. This is due to the fact that it will not have time to fully root for the winter, and frosty winds can dry out the needles.

You definitely don’t want to transplant this compact spruce in the summer. Especially if the weather is sunny and hot. In most cases, summer transplanting will result in the loss of the plant.

Before transplanting

Water Dwarf Alberta Spruce well before transplanting. Provided, of course, that it has not rained. The soil around the roots should be moist for a few days before transplanting. This way the spruce will accumulate enough moisture to survive the move more easily.

Also, prepare the planting hole in the new location before digging up the tree. It should be twice the size of the root ball of the spruce. The location should be sunny with no stagnant water.

The next thing to do is to prepare the soil. Mix the soil that you dug in the new place with good quality compost in a ratio of 1:1. This mixture will be the perfect medium for rooting in the first year.

Avoid pruning or feeding the spruce before transplanting as this will cause additional stress. This will only make it harder for it to take root.

Digging up a Dwarf Alberta Spruce

Dig up Dwarf Alberta Spruce very carefully. Leave at least 1 foot away from the trunk, but better if the distance from the trunk is equal to the radius of the crown. In other words, start digging at the distance the lower branches extend.

The depth to which you should dig should be at least 1 to 2 feet. The larger the tree, the deeper you need to dig.

Use a sharp shovel to cut the ground more clearly. Also, using a sharp shovel will make the root ball more solid and not fall apart.

When digging, try to damage the roots as little as possible. When removing the spruce from the ground, hold it by the root ball and not by the crown. The less soil that falls off the roots, the better.

Never soak the roots in a bucket of water. Otherwise, you will wash out the beneficial fungus and the roots, and the plant will have a very hard time transplanting.

Carefully place the spruce in a wheelbarrow and move it to its new location.

Planting in a new place

Immediately after digging up Dwarf Alberta Spruce, move it to a new location. Do not let the root ball dry out even a little, as otherwise, the spruce may not survive transplanting.

Place the tree no closer than 5 feet to other plants or buildings. The location should have good air movement and be sunny.

As I mentioned earlier, the planting hole should be twice the size of the root ball of the spruce. Place the tree so that where the trunk begins is at the same level as the soil in the garden. If necessary, fill the bottom of the hole with prepared soil.

Backfill all the free space with a mixture of compost and native soil. Water the spruce with 1-2 gallons of water. If necessary, add more soil to fill in any voids. Lightly tamp the fresh soil with your foot.

After transplanting

After transplanting, you should regularly check the moisture of the soil around the roots. If the soil dries out more than 1 inch, immediately water the Dwarf Alberta Spruce. Newly planted spruces are very susceptible to dehydration so don’t neglect to water.

The second thing to do is to mulch the area around the crown. Mulch has many advantages, not least of which is preventing the soil from drying out quickly. Use only organic mulch (compost, pine bark).

The layer of mulch should be approximately 1-2 inches. There should be a gap of at least 2-3 inches between the mulch and the trunk of the spruce. Cover the surface around the tree to twice the diameter of the crown.

If the weather is sunny, shade the Dwarf Alberta Spruce for several weeks or even months. This will prevent excessive moisture evaporation from the needles. The easiest way to shade spruce is to place a garden umbrella over it.

Avoid fertilizing the spruce in the first year after moving it. Otherwise, it might grow too fast and not fully established. The result can be negative.

Transplant shock

Everything described in this article is intended to help the spruce take the transplanting more easily. But let’s go over the key points briefly.

To reduce transplant shock of Dwarf Alberta Spruce:

  • Transplant in early spring or fall.
  • Water the tree a few days before watering.
  • Dig up the tree carefully without damaging the roots.
  • Quickly plant the spruce in its new location; do not let the roots dry out.
  • Shade the tree in its new location for a few months.
  • Water the spruce about once a week for the first year.
  • Make sure you mulch the soil around it.

How big is a Dwarf Alberta Spruce that can be transplanted?

There is no limit to the size of the plant when it comes to transplanting. It’s all down to your physical capabilities. One person is fully capable of transplanting a 5-6 foot tall spruce.

For larger specimens, you will need the help of others. If the Dwarf Alberta Spruce has been growing for many years and has reached 10 feet or more then it might make sense to use machinery to transplant it.

That being said, it is true to say that mature and large plants tolerate transplanting more painfully. So if your spruce is large, consider trimming it instead of transplanting it. In fact, trimming can easily control the size of the spruce.

Also, avoid replanting the same tree too often. One transplant every two years and no more. A tree cannot be replanted more than three times in its lifetime.