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About
care_basic_guide care_basic_guide
Basic Care
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Advanced Care
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Pests & Diseases
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More Info
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FAQ

How to Care for Meyer's Spruce

Meyer's spruce is a resilient coniferous tree known for its sturdy, pyramidal shape and dense, dark blue-green foliage. The short, stiff needles show remarkable tolerance to wind and drought, adapting well to a variety of soils. A slow-growing species, meyer's spruce lends enduring structure to landscapes and gardens, thriving particularly in cold climates.
Water
Water
Every 1-2 weeks
Sunlight
Sunlight
Full sun
Meyer's spruce
Meyer's spruce
care_basic_guide

Basic Care Guide

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Cultivation:WaterDetail

How to Water Meyer's spruce?

After transplanting meyer's spruce, water consecutively 5-7 times, once every 5-7 days. Mix a little rooting powder in the water; this will help the roots grow. During daily care, keep the soil moist but avoid leaving standing water, as this may cause the roots to rot. In general, water once every 10 days. If the leaves soften and droop, increase the watering frequency. The amount of watering can be adjusted depending on the weather conditions.
Cultivation:WaterDetail
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Cultivation:FertilizerDetail

How to Fertilize Meyer's spruce?

Applying enough base fertilizers before transplanting can provide nutrients to meyer's spruce over a long period of growth. In the first year after transplanting, the nutrition-absorption ability of the tree's roots is not very strong, so apply nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer every 2 weeks. In the fall, apply a little potassium fertilizer to help the trunk grow thick and sturdy. After the plant matures, it's best to fertilize it in spring and summer and only fertilize 2-4 times a year. In late fall, meyer's spruce slowly enters dormancy, so fertilizing should be reduced and stopped by the end of fall.
Organic fertilizer is the best choice for this slow-growing tree variety. It contains a full set of nutrients that can be utilized continually and reliably. It can also help optimize the soil texture and benefits the plants' growth. If the soil turns dry after fertilizing, water promptly.
Cultivation:FertilizerDetail
Cultivation:SunlightDetail

What Are the Sunlight Requirements for Meyer's spruce?

Meyer's spruce is shade-tolerant, so it doesn't need much direct sunlight to grow. From spring through early summer, it's best to expose the tree to light for a duration of over 6 hours a day, but a lack of light for a short time won't affect its growth. In summer, when sunlight is harsh, it's best to shade small trees grown outdoors to protect them from long-term, blazing light. If they are potted indoors, move them to a cool, shaded place.
Cultivation:SunlightDetail
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Cultivation:PruningDetail

How to Prune Meyer's spruce?

Meyer's spruce has lush terminal buds. The tree usually takes on a beautiful triangular shape and does not require pruning in general. When overly pruned, its incisions secrete rosin excessively which affects the tree's normal growth. It's best to trim off overly dense, diseased, and dried branches during the plant's winter dormancy. Prune and beautify the treetop in early spring when buds sprout. About 1/2 of the young branches can be pruned off to create your desired shape. For large, mature trees, it's a good idea to prune off all the branches on the lower trunk to reduce nutrition consumption.
When growing meyer's spruce for Christmas decorations, you need to control height and width. Prune the treetop and lateral branches appropriately short and continue to cut the newly-grown buds short, as well. Repeat this process many times. Seal pruning incisions with wax or duct tape to keep rosin from effusing.
Cultivation:PruningDetail
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care_advanced_guide

Advanced Care Guide

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Cultivation:WaterAndHardinessDetail

What is the Ideal Temperature Range for Meyer's spruce?

Meyer's spruce likes cool and moist climates. The ideal temperature range for tree growth is 4 to 18 ℃. It's hardy and tolerant of temperatures as low as -30 ℃, but young trees and tender branches are less cold-resistant.
Meyer's spruce likes moisture, it has good adaptability and is slightly drought-enduring. During the spring and summer growing seasons, the tree prefers higher air humidity (70-80%), while in the fall and winter, lower air humidity (55-65%) can help it grow more sturdy.
Cultivation:WaterAndHardinessDetail
Cultivation:SoilDetail

What Soil is Best for Meyer's spruce?

Meyer's spruce grows well in fertile, deep, well-drained, slightly acidic soils. The best soil pH range is 5.1-7.3, making both sandy soil or slightly clay-like soil good choices. As the tree grows slowly and has a long life span, the soil layer should be about 70 cm thick. If barren, the soil can be improved by adding nutrient soil or organic manure.
Cultivation:SoilDetail
Cultivation:PropagationDetail

How to Propagate Meyer's spruce?

We can propagate meyer's spruce by cutting. It's difficult for meyer's spruce to grow roots, so the cutting selection is very important. Choose robust, year-old branches in the summer and cut off 10 to 20 cm from them. Dip them in a rooting solution for a while, and insert them into the soil that has been sterilized and wetted. Keep the branches 20 to 30 cm apart from one another and keep the soil moist. When they root, transplant them outdoors by the early spring of next year.
Cultivation:PropagationDetail
Cultivation:PlantingDetail

How to Plant Meyer's spruce?

To grow meyer's spruce in a yard, purchase seedlings and transplant them in early spring. Get the planting pit ready one week before transplanting; its diameter needs to be about 20 cm longer than that of the root ball and have a depth of about 15 cm deeper. It should be no less than 6 m away from other plants. Add organic fertilizers to the bottom of the planting pit before transplanting and mix them well with the soil.
Place the seedling vertically into the pit, shovel 2/3 of the soil back, and water thoroughly once to make sure the moisture around the plant's roots is sufficient. Then, fill the pit fully up with soil and water again. Stomp the soil firmly and keep the pit surface level with the ground. If it's often windy at the planting site, support the young tree with wood sticks or metal poles in case a strong gale threatens to tilt it or knock it down.
Indoor potted meyer's spruce can be directly purchased. The tree grows slowly and usually doesn't require repotting. Repotting is only necessary if the needles turn yellow and fall off the tree, the roots around the pot brim or at the bottom wither and dry up, or the soil in the pot compacts. Move the majority of the original soil to the new pot with the plant, and add small amounts of organic fertilizers and new soil to provide more nutrients for its growth.
Cultivation:PlantingDetail
seasonal-tip

Seasonal Precautions

A shading screen should be set up when sunlight is too harsh, as the leaf stems of young trees can get sunburnt. The base of the trunk is also vulnerable, so hay can be piled around it to prevent the soil from compacting due to rapid water evaporation. This will keep evaporation from affecting the roots' absorption of nutrients and respiration. In rainy seasons, pay extra attention to soil drainage, as waterlogging around the roots can result in various diseases.
seasonal-tip
care_pet_and_diseases

Common Pests & Diseases

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Common issues for Meyer's spruce based on 10 million real cases
Longhorn beetles
Longhorn beetles Longhorn beetles
Longhorn beetles
The longhorn beetle is a medium- to large-sized insect with very long antennae and strong jaws. Both its adult and larval stages gnaw on tree trunks, leaving small, round holes.
Solutions: Some longhorn beetles species are native insects, and they cause little damage. Therefore, these don't warrant control. Other longhorn beetles species are invasive pests that were recently introduced from other areas. These species can cause a great deal of damage to hardwood trees. Apply an insecticide containing imidacloprid as a soil injection or trunk injection following product instructions. This will enter into new grow and kill adults who feed on foliage. This will not help save trees that are already infested with large amounts of larvae, but it will save trees located near an infested tree. Contact an arborist for best control practices regarding infected trees. To properly control longhorn beetles, all host plants in a given area must be treated. Contact a local extension agent or state agency. Tracking the spread of longhorn beetles is a key component of their control.
Fruit withering
Fruit withering Fruit withering
Fruit withering
Fungal infection or normal ripening can cause the fruit to dry out.
Solutions: There are a number of appropriate solutions to control fruit withering: Remove any fruit as soon as it shows any signs of infection. Do not compost. Use a fungicide prior to leaf bud and then as per manufacturers instructions throughout the season.
Crown gall
Crown gall Crown gall
Crown gall
Bacterial infections can cause abnormal brown or black growths on the trunk of the tree. These are also called crown galls.
Solutions: Remove infected tissue. Established trees can survive a crown gall infection, but the galls should be removed to improve the plant's appearance. Use pruning shears to remove the gall, then treat the wound with a pruning sealer. Discard pruned material by putting it in the trash or burning it to avoid infecting other plants. Sterilize the pruning shears after removing the galls. Remove the entire plant. If a small plant is infected with a serious case of crown gall, the best option is to remove the entire plant and burn it. This will prevent bacteria from spreading to other plants. Sterilize the soil. After removing infected tissue, sterilize the soil using heat. Alternatively, plant a gall-resistant plant in the same spot.
Fire ants
Fire ants Fire ants
Fire ants
Fire ants gnaw on the roots of plants and are aggressive toward people.
Solutions: Caution: fire ants are venomous and cause painful bites which can be fatal in the case of a rare but significant allergy. Fire ants can be a painful pest to have around for you and your plants. Keeping them under control will ensure comfortable gardening for all. For less severe cases: Physically remove mounds. Dig out and remove entire mounds (remember, they go deeper than they seem). Use citrus oil. Pour citrus oil, which is toxic to fire ants, down their holes. For severe cases: Use ant bait. For a chemical solution, broadcast insecticide bait formulated for fire ants in the area around a mound. Apply the bait during a dry evening so the ants can forage for it at night. Look for products that contain Indoxacarb. Release phorid flies. Introduce or promote beneficial phorid flies to gardens. These parasitic flies attack invasive fire ants. Hire a professional. Some ant baits are only available to professional exterminators. For serious cases of fire ants, consider hiring a professional.
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Longhorn beetles
plant poor
Longhorn beetles
The longhorn beetle is a medium- to large-sized insect with very long antennae and strong jaws. Both its adult and larval stages gnaw on tree trunks, leaving small, round holes.
Overview
Overview
Longhorn beetles are characterized by extremely long antennae which are often as long as, or longer, than the beetle's body. Adult longhorn beetles vary in size, shape, and coloration, depending upon the species. They may be 6 to 76 mm long. The larvae are worm-like with a wrinkled, white to yellowish body and a brown head.
Longhorn beetles are active throughout the year, but adults are most active in the summer and fall. Larvae feed on wood throughout the year.
Both larvae and adults feed on woody tissue. Some of the most susceptible species include ash, birch, elm, poplar, and willow.
If left untreated, longhorn beetles can kill trees.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Longhorn beetles are attracted to wounded, dying, or freshly-cut hardwood trees. Adults lay their eggs in the spring, summer, and fall on the bark of greenwood. There may be sap around egg-laying sites.
Once the eggs hatch, larvae called round-headed borers burrow into the trunk to feed. They may tunnel for one to three years depending on the wood's nutritional content. As the larvae feed, they release sawdust-like frass at the base of the tree.
Eventually, the larvae turn into pupae and then adults. When the adults emerge, they leave 1 cm holes in the bark on their way out. Adults feed on leaves, bark, and shoots of trees before laying eggs.
After a few years of being fed upon by longhorn beetles, a tree will begin losing leaves. Eventually, it will die.
Solutions
Solutions
Some longhorn beetles species are native insects, and they cause little damage. Therefore, these don't warrant control.
Other longhorn beetles species are invasive pests that were recently introduced from other areas. These species can cause a great deal of damage to hardwood trees.
  • Apply an insecticide containing imidacloprid as a soil injection or trunk injection following product instructions. This will enter into new grow and kill adults who feed on foliage. This will not help save trees that are already infested with large amounts of larvae, but it will save trees located near an infested tree.
  • Contact an arborist for best control practices regarding infected trees.
  • To properly control longhorn beetles, all host plants in a given area must be treated.
  • Contact a local extension agent or state agency. Tracking the spread of longhorn beetles is a key component of their control.
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Fruit withering
plant poor
Fruit withering
Fungal infection or normal ripening can cause the fruit to dry out.
Overview
Overview
Fruit withering is common on many tree fruits, including apples, pears, peaches, cherries, and plums, as well as fruiting shrubs. It is caused by a fungal pathogen and will result in wrinkled and desiccated fruit.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Here are the most common symptoms in the order that they are likely to occur.
  1. Both leaves and blossom on the tips of branches will go brown and wither.
  2. Gray powdery patches will appear on infected leaves and flowers, and this will be most apparent after rain.
  3. Any fruit that does appear will turn wrinkled and fail to develop.
  4. Branch tips begin to die, progressing back to larger branches, causing general deterioration of the tree or plant.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
The withering is caused by one of two fungal pathogens, one called Monilina laxa and the other called M. fructigen. The spores overwinter on infected plant material and are then spread the following spring by wind, rain, or animal vectors. The problem will start to become noticeable in mid-spring, but will increase in severity as summer progresses and the fungus grows. If not addressed, the disease will intensify and spread to other plants in the vicinity.
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Crown gall
plant poor
Crown gall
Bacterial infections can cause abnormal brown or black growths on the trunk of the tree. These are also called crown galls.
Overview
Overview
Crown gall is a bacterial disease that affects many different species of shrubs. It produces unsightly growths called galls on stems, branches, and roots. These galls stunt the growth of plants and weaken them. This is because they disrupt the flow of water and nutrients from the roots up to other areas of the plant.
Crown gall growth is generally more rapid during warm weather. There are no chemical solutions available that will kill this disease. The presence of galls does not usually cause the death of a plant, however. These galls can easily be spread to other plants through contaminated tools or soil.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Crown gall is most often seen on lower branches. This disease appears as deformed growths on stems, branches, or roots that gradually enlarge over time.
As the galls enlarge, they become hard and woody. Their appearance is usually brown and corky. The plant will show symptoms of stunted growth and there may be evidence of tip dieback.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Crown gall is caused by the bacteria Agrobacterium tumefaciens. This bacteria lives in the soil, and can survive there for many years. It is spread onto the plant by water splashing up from contaminated soil. Infected pruning tools can also spread the disease onto plants.
The bacteria enter the plant through open wounds. These could be caused by chewing insects or damage from gardening tools such as lawnmowers. Pruning cuts that have not been treated can also be infected by this bacterial disease.
Once the bacteria have entered the plant, they stimulate rapid growth in plant cells, and this is what causes the abnormal growths.
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Fire ants
plant poor
Fire ants
Fire ants gnaw on the roots of plants and are aggressive toward people.
Overview
Overview
Fire ants are a group of ants that are known for their aggressive behavior and painful stings. Some fire ants are native and others are invasive from other countries. Once they reach plants, they climb them and chew away at leaves and flower buds.
Fire ants also kill and eat beneficial insects such as caterpillars, ladybugs, mantis, and native ants. They can be a problem any time temperatures are above freezing, but new infestations are most likely to appear when brought in via contaminated material such as potting soil or mulch, or when insecticides have harmed populations of beneficial insects that would otherwise control populations of fire ants.
They can be difficult to control, especially once populations become large. Plant damage is typically minor, but fire ants can destroy seedlings.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
The number one symptom of fire ants is seeing the ants themselves which are red or black in color. Ant mounds in the ground are also signs. Fire ant mounds rarely exceed 46 cm in diameter. If a fire ant mound is disturbed, many fast-moving, aggressive ants will emerge. These ants will bite and then painfully sting.
Even if no ants are visible, their damage might be apparent. Chewed leaf and flower edges might indicate fire ants. Fully eaten seedlings are another sign.
Solutions
Solutions
Caution: fire ants are venomous and cause painful bites which can be fatal in the case of a rare but significant allergy.
Fire ants can be a painful pest to have around for you and your plants. Keeping them under control will ensure comfortable gardening for all.
For less severe cases:
  • Physically remove mounds. Dig out and remove entire mounds (remember, they go deeper than they seem).
  • Use citrus oil. Pour citrus oil, which is toxic to fire ants, down their holes.
For severe cases:
  • Use ant bait. For a chemical solution, broadcast insecticide bait formulated for fire ants in the area around a mound. Apply the bait during a dry evening so the ants can forage for it at night. Look for products that contain Indoxacarb.
  • Release phorid flies. Introduce or promote beneficial phorid flies to gardens. These parasitic flies attack invasive fire ants.
  • Hire a professional. Some ant baits are only available to professional exterminators. For serious cases of fire ants, consider hiring a professional.
Continue reading in our app - it's better
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More About Meyer's Spruce

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Common Problems

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How can I effectively prevent pests and diseases in the early stages of growing meyer's spruce?

more more
Meyer's spruce has only some resistance to pests and diseases. Therefore, the soil needs to be sterilized before planting and properly drained during rainy seasons. Take care not to over prune the tree during maintenance.

How can I prevent meyer's spruce from being tilted or knocked down by a gale?

more more
When newly-transplanted, the roots of the seedling have not secured a firm grip to the ground, making the tree highly likely to be tilted or blown down in a gale. Therefore, a trellis can be set up for the seedling using a few wood sticks or metal pipes or poles. Cushion the contact points between the trellis and the trunk with hay or protective cloths to prevent the trunk from being bruised by the trellis.
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Meyer's spruce
Meyer's spruce

How to Care for Meyer's Spruce

Meyer's spruce is a resilient coniferous tree known for its sturdy, pyramidal shape and dense, dark blue-green foliage. The short, stiff needles show remarkable tolerance to wind and drought, adapting well to a variety of soils. A slow-growing species, meyer's spruce lends enduring structure to landscapes and gardens, thriving particularly in cold climates.
Water
Every 1-2 weeks
Water
Sunlight
Full sun
Sunlight
care_basic_guide

Basic Care Guide

feedback
Cultivation:WaterDetail

How to Water Meyer's spruce?

Cultivation:WaterDetail
After transplanting meyer's spruce, water consecutively 5-7 times, once every 5-7 days. Mix a little rooting powder in the water; this will help the roots grow. During daily care, keep the soil moist but avoid leaving standing water, as this may cause the roots to rot. In general, water once every 10 days. If the leaves soften and droop, increase the watering frequency. The amount of watering can be adjusted depending on the weather conditions.
waterreminders

Never miss a care task again!

Plant care made easier than ever with our tailor-made smart care reminder.
Cultivation:FertilizerDetail

How to Fertilize Meyer's spruce?

Cultivation:FertilizerDetail
Applying enough base fertilizers before transplanting can provide nutrients to meyer's spruce over a long period of growth. In the first year after transplanting, the nutrition-absorption ability of the tree's roots is not very strong, so apply nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer every 2 weeks. In the fall, apply a little potassium fertilizer to help the trunk grow thick and sturdy. After the plant matures, it's best to fertilize it in spring and summer and only fertilize 2-4 times a year. In late fall, meyer's spruce slowly enters dormancy, so fertilizing should be reduced and stopped by the end of fall.
Organic fertilizer is the best choice for this slow-growing tree variety. It contains a full set of nutrients that can be utilized continually and reliably. It can also help optimize the soil texture and benefits the plants' growth. If the soil turns dry after fertilizing, water promptly.
Cultivation:SunlightDetail

What Are the Sunlight Requirements for Meyer's spruce?

Cultivation:SunlightDetail
Meyer's spruce is shade-tolerant, so it doesn't need much direct sunlight to grow. From spring through early summer, it's best to expose the tree to light for a duration of over 6 hours a day, but a lack of light for a short time won't affect its growth. In summer, when sunlight is harsh, it's best to shade small trees grown outdoors to protect them from long-term, blazing light. If they are potted indoors, move them to a cool, shaded place.
lightmeter

Know the light your plants really get.

Find the best spots for them to optimize their health, simply using your phone.
Cultivation:PruningDetail

How to Prune Meyer's spruce?

Cultivation:PruningDetail
Meyer's spruce has lush terminal buds. The tree usually takes on a beautiful triangular shape and does not require pruning in general. When overly pruned, its incisions secrete rosin excessively which affects the tree's normal growth. It's best to trim off overly dense, diseased, and dried branches during the plant's winter dormancy. Prune and beautify the treetop in early spring when buds sprout. About 1/2 of the young branches can be pruned off to create your desired shape. For large, mature trees, it's a good idea to prune off all the branches on the lower trunk to reduce nutrition consumption.
When growing meyer's spruce for Christmas decorations, you need to control height and width. Prune the treetop and lateral branches appropriately short and continue to cut the newly-grown buds short, as well. Repeat this process many times. Seal pruning incisions with wax or duct tape to keep rosin from effusing.
close
care_advanced_guide

Advanced Care Guide

feedback
Cultivation:WaterAndHardinessDetail

What is the Ideal Temperature Range for Meyer's spruce?

Cultivation:WaterAndHardinessDetail
Meyer's spruce likes cool and moist climates. The ideal temperature range for tree growth is 4 to 18 ℃. It's hardy and tolerant of temperatures as low as -30 ℃, but young trees and tender branches are less cold-resistant.
Meyer's spruce likes moisture, it has good adaptability and is slightly drought-enduring. During the spring and summer growing seasons, the tree prefers higher air humidity (70-80%), while in the fall and winter, lower air humidity (55-65%) can help it grow more sturdy.
Cultivation:SoilDetail

What Soil is Best for Meyer's spruce?

Cultivation:SoilDetail
Meyer's spruce grows well in fertile, deep, well-drained, slightly acidic soils. The best soil pH range is 5.1-7.3, making both sandy soil or slightly clay-like soil good choices. As the tree grows slowly and has a long life span, the soil layer should be about 70 cm thick. If barren, the soil can be improved by adding nutrient soil or organic manure.
Cultivation:PropagationDetail

How to Propagate Meyer's spruce?

Cultivation:PropagationDetail
We can propagate meyer's spruce by cutting. It's difficult for meyer's spruce to grow roots, so the cutting selection is very important. Choose robust, year-old branches in the summer and cut off 10 to 20 cm from them. Dip them in a rooting solution for a while, and insert them into the soil that has been sterilized and wetted. Keep the branches 20 to 30 cm apart from one another and keep the soil moist. When they root, transplant them outdoors by the early spring of next year.
Cultivation:PlantingDetail

How to Plant Meyer's spruce?

Cultivation:PlantingDetail
To grow meyer's spruce in a yard, purchase seedlings and transplant them in early spring. Get the planting pit ready one week before transplanting; its diameter needs to be about 20 cm longer than that of the root ball and have a depth of about 15 cm deeper. It should be no less than 6 m away from other plants. Add organic fertilizers to the bottom of the planting pit before transplanting and mix them well with the soil.
Place the seedling vertically into the pit, shovel 2/3 of the soil back, and water thoroughly once to make sure the moisture around the plant's roots is sufficient. Then, fill the pit fully up with soil and water again. Stomp the soil firmly and keep the pit surface level with the ground. If it's often windy at the planting site, support the young tree with wood sticks or metal poles in case a strong gale threatens to tilt it or knock it down.
Indoor potted meyer's spruce can be directly purchased. The tree grows slowly and usually doesn't require repotting. Repotting is only necessary if the needles turn yellow and fall off the tree, the roots around the pot brim or at the bottom wither and dry up, or the soil in the pot compacts. Move the majority of the original soil to the new pot with the plant, and add small amounts of organic fertilizers and new soil to provide more nutrients for its growth.
seasonal-tip

Seasonal Precautions

A shading screen should be set up when sunlight is too harsh, as the leaf stems of young trees can get sunburnt. The base of the trunk is also vulnerable, so hay can be piled around it to prevent the soil from compacting due to rapid water evaporation. This will keep evaporation from affecting the roots' absorption of nutrients and respiration. In rainy seasons, pay extra attention to soil drainage, as waterlogging around the roots can result in various diseases.
care_pet_and_diseases

Common Pests & Diseases

feedback
Common issues for Meyer's spruce based on 10 million real cases
Longhorn beetles
Longhorn beetles Longhorn beetles Longhorn beetles
The longhorn beetle is a medium- to large-sized insect with very long antennae and strong jaws. Both its adult and larval stages gnaw on tree trunks, leaving small, round holes.
Solutions: Some longhorn beetles species are native insects, and they cause little damage. Therefore, these don't warrant control. Other longhorn beetles species are invasive pests that were recently introduced from other areas. These species can cause a great deal of damage to hardwood trees. Apply an insecticide containing imidacloprid as a soil injection or trunk injection following product instructions. This will enter into new grow and kill adults who feed on foliage. This will not help save trees that are already infested with large amounts of larvae, but it will save trees located near an infested tree. Contact an arborist for best control practices regarding infected trees. To properly control longhorn beetles, all host plants in a given area must be treated. Contact a local extension agent or state agency. Tracking the spread of longhorn beetles is a key component of their control.
Learn More About the Longhorn beetles more
Fruit withering
Fruit withering Fruit withering Fruit withering
Fungal infection or normal ripening can cause the fruit to dry out.
Solutions: There are a number of appropriate solutions to control fruit withering: Remove any fruit as soon as it shows any signs of infection. Do not compost. Use a fungicide prior to leaf bud and then as per manufacturers instructions throughout the season.
Learn More About the Fruit withering more
Crown gall
Crown gall Crown gall Crown gall
Bacterial infections can cause abnormal brown or black growths on the trunk of the tree. These are also called crown galls.
Solutions: Remove infected tissue. Established trees can survive a crown gall infection, but the galls should be removed to improve the plant's appearance. Use pruning shears to remove the gall, then treat the wound with a pruning sealer. Discard pruned material by putting it in the trash or burning it to avoid infecting other plants. Sterilize the pruning shears after removing the galls. Remove the entire plant. If a small plant is infected with a serious case of crown gall, the best option is to remove the entire plant and burn it. This will prevent bacteria from spreading to other plants. Sterilize the soil. After removing infected tissue, sterilize the soil using heat. Alternatively, plant a gall-resistant plant in the same spot.
Learn More About the Crown gall more
Fire ants
Fire ants Fire ants Fire ants
Fire ants gnaw on the roots of plants and are aggressive toward people.
Solutions: Caution: fire ants are venomous and cause painful bites which can be fatal in the case of a rare but significant allergy. Fire ants can be a painful pest to have around for you and your plants. Keeping them under control will ensure comfortable gardening for all. For less severe cases: Physically remove mounds. Dig out and remove entire mounds (remember, they go deeper than they seem). Use citrus oil. Pour citrus oil, which is toxic to fire ants, down their holes. For severe cases: Use ant bait. For a chemical solution, broadcast insecticide bait formulated for fire ants in the area around a mound. Apply the bait during a dry evening so the ants can forage for it at night. Look for products that contain Indoxacarb. Release phorid flies. Introduce or promote beneficial phorid flies to gardens. These parasitic flies attack invasive fire ants. Hire a professional. Some ant baits are only available to professional exterminators. For serious cases of fire ants, consider hiring a professional.
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Longhorn beetles
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Longhorn beetles
The longhorn beetle is a medium- to large-sized insect with very long antennae and strong jaws. Both its adult and larval stages gnaw on tree trunks, leaving small, round holes.
Overview
Overview
Longhorn beetles are characterized by extremely long antennae which are often as long as, or longer, than the beetle's body. Adult longhorn beetles vary in size, shape, and coloration, depending upon the species. They may be 6 to 76 mm long. The larvae are worm-like with a wrinkled, white to yellowish body and a brown head.
Longhorn beetles are active throughout the year, but adults are most active in the summer and fall. Larvae feed on wood throughout the year.
Both larvae and adults feed on woody tissue. Some of the most susceptible species include ash, birch, elm, poplar, and willow.
If left untreated, longhorn beetles can kill trees.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Longhorn beetles are attracted to wounded, dying, or freshly-cut hardwood trees. Adults lay their eggs in the spring, summer, and fall on the bark of greenwood. There may be sap around egg-laying sites.
Once the eggs hatch, larvae called round-headed borers burrow into the trunk to feed. They may tunnel for one to three years depending on the wood's nutritional content. As the larvae feed, they release sawdust-like frass at the base of the tree.
Eventually, the larvae turn into pupae and then adults. When the adults emerge, they leave 1 cm holes in the bark on their way out. Adults feed on leaves, bark, and shoots of trees before laying eggs.
After a few years of being fed upon by longhorn beetles, a tree will begin losing leaves. Eventually, it will die.
Solutions
Solutions
Some longhorn beetles species are native insects, and they cause little damage. Therefore, these don't warrant control.
Other longhorn beetles species are invasive pests that were recently introduced from other areas. These species can cause a great deal of damage to hardwood trees.
  • Apply an insecticide containing imidacloprid as a soil injection or trunk injection following product instructions. This will enter into new grow and kill adults who feed on foliage. This will not help save trees that are already infested with large amounts of larvae, but it will save trees located near an infested tree.
  • Contact an arborist for best control practices regarding infected trees.
  • To properly control longhorn beetles, all host plants in a given area must be treated.
  • Contact a local extension agent or state agency. Tracking the spread of longhorn beetles is a key component of their control.
Prevention
Prevention
  • Keeping trees healthy, uninjured, and unstressed will help prevent beetle infestation. Water trees appropriately, giving neither too much nor too little.
  • Check with local tree companies about which tree species have fewer problems.
  • Avoid moving firewood as this can introduce exotic longhorn beetles.
  • Routine spraying of persistent, broad-spectrum insecticides will help prevent re-infestation of previously affected trees or infestation of unaffected trees.
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Fruit withering
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Fruit withering
Fungal infection or normal ripening can cause the fruit to dry out.
Overview
Overview
Fruit withering is common on many tree fruits, including apples, pears, peaches, cherries, and plums, as well as fruiting shrubs. It is caused by a fungal pathogen and will result in wrinkled and desiccated fruit.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Here are the most common symptoms in the order that they are likely to occur.
  1. Both leaves and blossom on the tips of branches will go brown and wither.
  2. Gray powdery patches will appear on infected leaves and flowers, and this will be most apparent after rain.
  3. Any fruit that does appear will turn wrinkled and fail to develop.
  4. Branch tips begin to die, progressing back to larger branches, causing general deterioration of the tree or plant.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
The withering is caused by one of two fungal pathogens, one called Monilina laxa and the other called M. fructigen. The spores overwinter on infected plant material and are then spread the following spring by wind, rain, or animal vectors. The problem will start to become noticeable in mid-spring, but will increase in severity as summer progresses and the fungus grows. If not addressed, the disease will intensify and spread to other plants in the vicinity.
Solutions
Solutions
There are a number of appropriate solutions to control fruit withering:
  1. Remove any fruit as soon as it shows any signs of infection. Do not compost.
  2. Use a fungicide prior to leaf bud and then as per manufacturers instructions throughout the season.
Prevention
Prevention
Preventative measures include:
  1. Ensuring adequate spacing between plants or trees.
  2. Staking plants that are prone to tumbling to prevent moisture or humidity build up.
  3. Prune correctly so that there is adequate air movement and remove any dead or diseased branches that may carry spores.
  4. Practice good plant hygiene by removing fallen material and destroying it as soon as possible.
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Crown gall
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Crown gall
Bacterial infections can cause abnormal brown or black growths on the trunk of the tree. These are also called crown galls.
Overview
Overview
Crown gall is a bacterial disease that affects many different species of shrubs. It produces unsightly growths called galls on stems, branches, and roots. These galls stunt the growth of plants and weaken them. This is because they disrupt the flow of water and nutrients from the roots up to other areas of the plant.
Crown gall growth is generally more rapid during warm weather. There are no chemical solutions available that will kill this disease. The presence of galls does not usually cause the death of a plant, however. These galls can easily be spread to other plants through contaminated tools or soil.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Crown gall is most often seen on lower branches. This disease appears as deformed growths on stems, branches, or roots that gradually enlarge over time.
As the galls enlarge, they become hard and woody. Their appearance is usually brown and corky. The plant will show symptoms of stunted growth and there may be evidence of tip dieback.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Crown gall is caused by the bacteria Agrobacterium tumefaciens. This bacteria lives in the soil, and can survive there for many years. It is spread onto the plant by water splashing up from contaminated soil. Infected pruning tools can also spread the disease onto plants.
The bacteria enter the plant through open wounds. These could be caused by chewing insects or damage from gardening tools such as lawnmowers. Pruning cuts that have not been treated can also be infected by this bacterial disease.
Once the bacteria have entered the plant, they stimulate rapid growth in plant cells, and this is what causes the abnormal growths.
Solutions
Solutions
  1. Remove infected tissue. Established trees can survive a crown gall infection, but the galls should be removed to improve the plant's appearance. Use pruning shears to remove the gall, then treat the wound with a pruning sealer. Discard pruned material by putting it in the trash or burning it to avoid infecting other plants. Sterilize the pruning shears after removing the galls.
  2. Remove the entire plant. If a small plant is infected with a serious case of crown gall, the best option is to remove the entire plant and burn it. This will prevent bacteria from spreading to other plants.
  3. Sterilize the soil. After removing infected tissue, sterilize the soil using heat. Alternatively, plant a gall-resistant plant in the same spot.
Prevention
Prevention
To prevent crown gall, avoid introducing and spreading the bacteria that causes it.
  1. Avoid infected plants. Inspect all new plants for symptoms. Dispose of any plants that show signs of crown gall.
  2. Sanitize pruning tools. Use an approved sanitizing solution to treat pruning shears both before and after use. A freshly-mixed solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water will be most effective.
  3. Avoid mounding soil around the crown of the plant, keeping this area as dry as possible. Remove dead branches and leaves to prevent the occurrence of pests and diseases.
  4. Utilize beneficial bacteria. The beneficial bacterium Agrobacterium radiobacter strain 84 can be used during planting to prevent crown gall. To use, simply dip bare-rooted plants in the solution, or water rooted plants with a solution of the aforementioned bacteria.
  5. Correct overly alkaline soils. Crown gall-causing bacteria thrive in alkaline soils, so check the pH level of the soil and reduce the alkalinity.
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Fire ants
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Fire ants
Fire ants gnaw on the roots of plants and are aggressive toward people.
Overview
Overview
Fire ants are a group of ants that are known for their aggressive behavior and painful stings. Some fire ants are native and others are invasive from other countries. Once they reach plants, they climb them and chew away at leaves and flower buds.
Fire ants also kill and eat beneficial insects such as caterpillars, ladybugs, mantis, and native ants. They can be a problem any time temperatures are above freezing, but new infestations are most likely to appear when brought in via contaminated material such as potting soil or mulch, or when insecticides have harmed populations of beneficial insects that would otherwise control populations of fire ants.
They can be difficult to control, especially once populations become large. Plant damage is typically minor, but fire ants can destroy seedlings.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
The number one symptom of fire ants is seeing the ants themselves which are red or black in color. Ant mounds in the ground are also signs. Fire ant mounds rarely exceed 46 cm in diameter. If a fire ant mound is disturbed, many fast-moving, aggressive ants will emerge. These ants will bite and then painfully sting.
Even if no ants are visible, their damage might be apparent. Chewed leaf and flower edges might indicate fire ants. Fully eaten seedlings are another sign.
Solutions
Solutions
Caution: fire ants are venomous and cause painful bites which can be fatal in the case of a rare but significant allergy.
Fire ants can be a painful pest to have around for you and your plants. Keeping them under control will ensure comfortable gardening for all.
For less severe cases:
  • Physically remove mounds. Dig out and remove entire mounds (remember, they go deeper than they seem).
  • Use citrus oil. Pour citrus oil, which is toxic to fire ants, down their holes.
For severe cases:
  • Use ant bait. For a chemical solution, broadcast insecticide bait formulated for fire ants in the area around a mound. Apply the bait during a dry evening so the ants can forage for it at night. Look for products that contain Indoxacarb.
  • Release phorid flies. Introduce or promote beneficial phorid flies to gardens. These parasitic flies attack invasive fire ants.
  • Hire a professional. Some ant baits are only available to professional exterminators. For serious cases of fire ants, consider hiring a professional.
Prevention
Prevention
Fire ants become more difficult to control as they establish themselves, so try to prevent them or treat them early.
  • Monitor new material. Do not bring in any soil or plants from known infested areas, unless if they are "Quarantine Approved." Make sure to check new material for fire ants.
  • Apply insecticide. Some warm and humid areas have high fire ants populations. In these areas, spread a granular fire ants insecticide such as Varsity in the spring near gardens to prevent these unwelcome visitors.
  • Treat early. Spot treat at the first sight of any fire ants mound, as larger mounds are more difficult to treat.
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More About Meyer's Spruce

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Plant Type
Plant Type
Tree
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Common Problems

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How can I effectively prevent pests and diseases in the early stages of growing meyer's spruce?

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Meyer's spruce has only some resistance to pests and diseases. Therefore, the soil needs to be sterilized before planting and properly drained during rainy seasons. Take care not to over prune the tree during maintenance.

How can I prevent meyer's spruce from being tilted or knocked down by a gale?

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When newly-transplanted, the roots of the seedling have not secured a firm grip to the ground, making the tree highly likely to be tilted or blown down in a gale. Therefore, a trellis can be set up for the seedling using a few wood sticks or metal pipes or poles. Cushion the contact points between the trellis and the trunk with hay or protective cloths to prevent the trunk from being bruised by the trellis.
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