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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
What type of pine/spruce/fur/christmas tree grows the quickest and keeps its branches towards the base? Looking to get some seedlings to plane in an semi open area to create cover for the wildlife.
 

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Norway and White Spruce will keep their lower limbs as they mature.

White pines will self-prune the lower branches as they get shaded out down the road.

I have had deer heavily browse (winter time) on both white pine and Norway Spruce....I am looking to switch my evergreen plantings over to red cedars so I don't have to cage them for survival.
 

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Norways will make you the best cover the quickest. They will put on up to 3 feet of growth a year once they get established and going.....................so long as you can keep the white pine weevils off of the terminal shoot. Lower limbs will stay low for years and years if the trees are not too closely spaced.
 

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I would stay away from blue spruce at this point. There is a disease from China that is killing them all. We lost a field of 2000 trees this year.
 

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O are you not worried about cedar apple rust?
BG - it is a concern, but we already have some existing cedars on the property. I am not sure how close in proximity a cedar tree must be to cause issues.....but the cedars for bedding and cover will be going in a different area from our apples trees. Do you know how much distance is required to safe from CAR?
 

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http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-1036/EPP-7611web.pdf

Control is most readily accomplished by removing either host from the vicinity of the other. The prevailing winds will affect the distance the hosts need to be kept apart to prevent disease development. In Oklahoma, cedar trees to the north or northwest of apple trees will need to be no more than one-fourth of a mile away to prevent an appreciable amount of rust spores from reaching either host. However, if the cedar trees are located to the south or southwest of apple trees, the distance would need to be one mile or more.
 

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From my experience, I would definitely go with Norway spruce. Unlike most pine, deer generally leave it alone and it's pretty tolerant of varying soil conditions and temps. It probably has fewer insect issues as well.
 

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http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-1036/EPP-7611web.pdf

Control is most readily accomplished by removing either host from the vicinity of the other. The prevailing winds will affect the distance the hosts need to be kept apart to prevent disease development. In Oklahoma, cedar trees to the north or northwest of apple trees will need to be no more than one-fourth of a mile away to prevent an appreciable amount of rust spores from reaching either host. However, if the cedar trees are located to the south or southwest of apple trees, the distance would need to be one mile or more.
Good information there chickenlittle - thanks for posting. I should be OK with most of our apple trees in relation to the cedars that I have already transplanted and those I would like to plant in the future. Some of the existing ones could cause me some issues though....

Most of the apple trees sit the SW of the cedars.
 

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Do you know the name of this disease ??
I will find out and let you know. Pretty much all of the trees have zero old growth needles. New growth is still there but the needle retention was terrible once they were cut. We refunded quite a bit of money to buyers this year for those blues. Right now we are trying to decide whether to clear cut and burn the field or let it grow to deer cover.
 

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From my experience, I would definitely go with Norway spruce. Unlike most pine, deer generally leave it alone....
Ha, I wish that was the case for our place with the Norway Spruce.....this Norway spruce was a perfect little Christmas shape heading into the winter of 2014/15. After winter - barely anything for branches and a tuft of green on top.....pic was taken March 27th of 2015.
 

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Cytospora canker, caused by the fungus Leucostoma kunzei and more correctly known as Leucostoma canker, is a disease of all spruce and some other needle bearing trees. It is especially infectious on Colorado blue spruce. All blue spruce in Pennsylvania will at some time, become infected with it. The fungus affects stressed trees and blue spruce are stressed during our humid summers. There is no safe time of year to prune blue spruce as the fungus is active over 32 degrees and there is on effective fungicide. If you must prune, do so at the beginning of the coldest stretch of weather forecasted.
I never spec blue spruce for any job I manage.
Black and red spruce are native to Pennsylvania and provide more wildlife benefit, White spruce, native to areas further north, would also be a good choice.
The trick to having full foliage on a spruce tree is to plant in full sun. Spruce trees planted in shade will be thinner along the height of the trunk as they grow faster vertically and branches thin out in the shade.
 

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I never spec blue spruce for any job I manage.
Black and red spruce are native to Pennsylvania and provide more wildlife benefit, White spruce, native to areas further north, would also be a good choice.
It seems, anymore, that there's not a single evergreen that is anywhere NEAR maintenance free to grow................ the blacks, reds and whites are all targets of white pine weevil and spruce gall adelgid........ It gets pretty darned frustrating and is horribly labor intensive to produce a marketable sized tree anymore. The spray programs are mind boggling.............

Seems that even a GORGEOUS field of spruce is near impossible to market these days. Most everyone who wants a fresh cut Christmas tree wants a variety of fir. And NOBODY is doing B&B around here .............. We've got some of the hottest Norways I've ever grown just standing there............ Between the diseases and the lack of commercial interest, I don't see planting any more spruce, ever.
 

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It seems, anymore, that there's not a single evergreen that is anywhere NEAR maintenance free to grow................ the blacks, reds and whites are all targets of white pine weevil and spruce gall adelgid........ It gets pretty darned frustrating and is horribly labor intensive to produce a marketable sized tree anymore. The spray programs are mind boggling.............

Seems that even a GORGEOUS field of spruce is near impossible to market these days. Most everyone who wants a fresh cut Christmas tree wants a variety of fir. And NOBODY is doing B&B around here .............. We've got some of the hottest Norways I've ever grown just standing there............ Between the diseases and the lack of commercial interest, I don't see planting any more spruce, ever.


Fraser, Fraser, Fraser.......
 
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