Friday, March 31, 2023

The Alberta Spruce and Sun Scald

The past few winters I have been fighting sun scald on one of our mature Alberta Spruce in the front landscape.  The one side that gets winter sun always dries out and burns.  The problem was first noticeable around the bottom so I started by wrapping burlap around the bottom.

But that wasn't enough so this time I used Wilt Stop on it and wrapped it from tip to toe all winter.
This was last spring's stop gap wrap.
I had it tightly bundled all this winter but didn't take a picture.

It still has a brown tinge to the east side of it.

I unwrapped it yesterday because we have a cloudy, rainy stretch coming and that will ease it into full sunshine now that the burlap is off.  I'm pretty happy with these results.  This isn't anything that it won't bounce back from.  At this age you have to stay ahead of these things.

The Alberta below I planted back in 2000 or 2001 at the house next door.  It has the same southern exposure in the winter.

This is what happens when you ignore the problem.
Our current landscaping was put in back in 2009.  They were such cute little trees.

I started flipping through old photos to see how much this area has changed and matured.  Some of the perennials have changed, but the most noticeable changes are in the size of the evergreens.

We lost this pretty Lilac tree a few years ago after those hard winters.

The Lilac tree in it's decline 2020

I haven't properly replaced the tree yet.  I stuck a park bench in there for two years but this spring I have a Instant Karma Elderberry bush that I have stuck in a temporary spot and I think I will try that in there.

It should fill in and balance out the pretty Viburnum around the front.

That's the thing about landscaping with shrubs.  Every now and then they need a reset.  It isn't as easy as taking divisions from perennials.  You have to invest more money and planning into it.  We're not ready for a reset yet, but we do have to be aware that the shrubs are aging, and take as good care of them as we can to get a longer useful life out of them.

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