Colorado Blue Spruce - Iron filings?

TeKmInIbI

Sapling
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My dad told me he used to regularily (every spring) put iron filings around the colorado blue spruce we had in our front yard, until we moved.
It turned a vibrant blue, and seemed to be healthier because of this... should i be doing this to my CBS in a pot?
I'm curious because i have been giving it 20-20-20 feed, along with Superthrive and it seems to be dying despite my best efforts.
The branches have VERY little needles on them, and the ones that are still there are either yellow or turning yellow... :(

I plan to just winter it like it did last year, and hope for better growth next spring..
 

TheSteve

Chumono
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I've heard that iron filings, nails, etc do absolutely nothing for the tree as the iron has to be chelated. I can't substantiate this myself because I try to find fert with iron so I don't have to worry about. Magnesium is good for blue coloration and epsom salts will take care of that (and cheaply too).
 

DaveV

Shohin
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Hi Tek, Without some pictures its hard to tell, but it sounds to me like there may be problems down below - the roots. Trees that turn yellow this time of the year, especially junipers, conifers, and pines, always seem to be related poor draining soil. Hopefully, someone who has more experience with CBS post a response. Hope it turns out for you!
 

Roberts

Yamadori
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Don't know the correct answer either, but remember that my grandmother always kept a couple big rusty bolts in the bottom of her watering can. :)

Robert
 

TeKmInIbI

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Hi Tek, Without some pictures its hard to tell, but it sounds to me like there may be problems down below - the roots. Trees that turn yellow this time of the year, especially junipers, conifers, and pines, always seem to be related poor draining soil. Hopefully, someone who has more experience with CBS post a response. Hope it turns out for you!
Here are some pics, honestly i think i may be overwatering ... the soil is 50% akamada/25%pine bark mulch/25%Small River rock - with a top dressing of Turface Mvp.

I've heard that iron filings, nails, etc do absolutely nothing for the tree as the iron has to be chelated. I can't substantiate this myself because I try to find fert with iron so I don't have to worry about. Magnesium is good for blue coloration and epsom salts will take care of that (and cheaply too).
Hmm, ill look into a fertilizer with more magnesium/iron i guess thanks for the information.
 

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DaveV

Shohin
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sound to me like you have some good draining soil. Are those new buds forming at the tips. Not sure what caused the other needles to turn that color.
 

Rick Moquin

Omono
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When was this tree potted up and pruned. Spruces do not like to have work done on them in spring and will often die back.

Rusty nails are not an old wives tail, by rusty nails we are not talking something that has weathered for a year, but something that is nearly fallen appart. Dad used to do the same thing.

Wrt Epson salt, the recipe is 1 tbs per gallon of water once a month, will render the most vibrant blue out of trees.

As spruce is a conifer, it should be ferted with 30-10-10 at recommended mfr dilution. Is your soil damp or dry, spruce like to remain moist.
 

Bonsai Nut

Nuttier than your average Nut
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A little more information on this tree would be helpful. It is very stressed and weak. If I had to guess, it was recently repotted and root trimmed. If this is the case, I would hold off on ANY fertilizer until the tree is starting to show strong back growth. If you fertilize too early, you risk burning the new roots and killing the tree. Whatever you do, make sure you do it slowly and carefully - i.e. fertilize at quarter strength, water only when necessary, and keep the tree sheltered from harsh environmental conditions like extended sun and strong winds. You need to nurse this tree back to health before you go back to a full "healthy tree" care routine.
 

TeKmInIbI

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A little more information on this tree would be helpful. It is very stressed and weak. If I had to guess, it was recently repotted and root trimmed. If this is the case, I would hold off on ANY fertilizer until the tree is starting to show strong back growth. If you fertilize too early, you risk burning the new roots and killing the tree. Whatever you do, make sure you do it slowly and carefully - i.e. fertilize at quarter strength, water only when necessary, and keep the tree sheltered from harsh environmental conditions like extended sun and strong winds. You need to nurse this tree back to health before you go back to a full "healthy tree" care routine.
You guessed right, i cut it back hard and removed alot of the branches.
I have been using superthrive on it, and a small amount of 20-20-20 fert also.
I'll stop due to your reccomendation, thank-you.
I'm going to move it into the shade somewhat, and water/watch it carefully for the next couple weeks.
 

TheSteve

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Spruce don't like to be overdone. This is a classic example, no offense. Don't repot and style in the same year. Probably could have reduced the foliage over a longer period of time as well.
 

TeKmInIbI

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Spruce don't like to be overdone. This is a classic example, no offense. Don't repot and style in the same year. Probably could have reduced the foliage over a longer period of time as well.
Ah, something i didn't know!
I didn't actually touch any foliage atall when i repotted, i just removed some unwanted branches and cut it back at the same time :(
 
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