Spruce Tree Care

Spruce Tree Care

Spruce Tree Care

Spruce Trees

Spruce trees are high altitude dwellers widespread throughout the Southwest. Here in Denver, they are popular as a landscape ornamental tree. Spruce have shorter, stubbier needles than a pine and the needles are sharper. A rule of thumb is that you can shake hands with a pine tree while a spruce will be painful if you grab it. 

Spruce Tree Health Care

The most frequent tree service we get asked about with spruce is skirting and shaping. Skirting or raising the spruce tree trims the lowest branches out. This is fine when done sparingly. It makes lawn mowing easier but can hurt the  overall heath of the tree. Also excessive spruce trimming and removal of branches in the crown actually makes it more likely to blow over during storms.

In Denver, spruce are targeted by a few tree insects and pests. The IPS beetle can cause damage or even kill a spruce. Preventive spraying needs to be done throughout the growing season.  Cooley spruce gall, which looks like little pineapples on the tips of the branches also can hurt the tree.  Scale is the other main pest. Scale symptoms include excessive sap and white spotting on needles. This can be treated with a special soil injection or horticultural oils. 

Spruce Tree Trimming

Lifting or skirting a spruce tree may help with landscaping chores and keep a spruce from collecting trash. However, take too many branches away and the next heavy snow may break or flatten the branches. Arborists’ recommend not skirting a tree for cosmetic reasons.

A spruce trimming is usually cosmetic and also for taking the branches away from windows, sidewalks and other structures. Spruce serve as a great wind shield and are planted throughout southwest Colorado to control snow drifts.

Since spruce trees are alive all year long, they are especially sensitive to dry winters and may need a winter watering done on a monthly basis to maintain health.

Spruce Tree Removal

Spruce tree removal is more straightforward then removing a cottonwood or maple tree.  Spruce trees may have to be removed but it’s rare that it is a technical removal of a hazard tree.  A spruce tree in decline will thin out and start to die from the top down. Sadly most early deaths of spruce are due to lack of water. There maybe other symptoms after that but ultimately, a spruce that doesn’t get enough water throughout the year will decline and cause a removal event to occur. 

To remove the spruce we will “limb it” meaning cut all the branches off so it’s a bare trunk. Then we piece out sections of the trunk taking care to avoid any structures such as fences below. The range for spruce tree removal cost is between $300 and $250000 depending on the tree’s size, location,  structure around the tree and the presence of power-lines. spruce trees are heavier making disposal and recycling more expensive. 

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