How to Trim a Dwarf Alberta Spruce

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Dwarf Alberta spruce trees, Picea glauca var. Albertiana "Conica," are common evergreens in residential landscapes. They are slow growers, adding just 2 to 4 inches per year, and have a natural pyramid shape and light green foliage. Typically, dwarf Alberta spruce trees maintain themselves and require little pruning. However, there are some occasions when pruning is required.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand pruners
  • Pruning shears

Stand back and look at the dwarf Alberta spruce to identify any stems that are a distinctly different color and that have grown much longer than the other branches. This is a genetic deformity that must be removed.

Trace the deformed stem to where the coloring changes back to a light green and then go back a little further to the next junction with a stem. Cut the branch off using hand pruners.

Examine the overall shape of the dwarf Alberta spruce and use pruning shears to neaten up the pyramid shape if desired. Trim off only 1 to 2 inches from the tips of the stems, sloping upward to a point as you prune the upper portions of the tree.

Examine the tree regularly for signs of new deformed growth development. If new growths develop, prune them off as soon as they occur, in the same manner done previously. If you wait until the growths are larger before pruning them, the tree could end up with gaps in the foliage.

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