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Just looking for any advice as I will be planting Bare root Norway spruce seedlings around the perimeter of an acre lot i own. I plan on planting at least two rows. My biggest question on this is, can I plant them closer together and thin them out as needed as they grow? If so, when is the right time to thin them out? Any advice on planting these will be appreciated as this is my first experience doing this. Thanks!
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You can plant them close and thin them, but you can also just give them more room in the initial planting. if you plant them close once the crowns start to intersect that's when you want to take out every other tree or so. When you give them room they retain there lower branches longer and spread out rather than growing as tall as they would if they are touching. if they start touching one another they will grow more vertical. Conifers are geotropic so they will grow upwards no matter what and they won't bend or grow towards the sunlight. With most conifer species when the lower branches aren't getting any light they self prune from the bottom up because they aren't going to put energy into something that is not giving in return. If you are just planting them as a wind break or privacy screen I would just go around 12' to 15' apart it will take more time for the trees to fill in the gaps but you'll be a lot happier not having to try to figure out what you're going to do with all the spruce trees you had to cut down to make room. plus you really want to be able to have air and wind circulating around them. if they are too tight it creates a micro climate under and around the trees and retains moisture for longer periods of time and with not enough space the trees will get stressed out and then they get really prone to fungal pathogens that are going to thrive in that microclimate. Also if you are doing bare root make sure you don't let the grass get too tall around them. You can't use round-up and you can't weed wack so you have to spend a little time clipping the grass around them. you can mulch and use preen but you would only need about a half inch deep of mulch around them any more would than that would rot out the root collar because you would retain too much moisture.
Before Enlightenment Chop Wood, Carry Water. After Enilightenment Chop Wood, Carry Water....[glow=red][/glow]
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