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brownish/red spot on a dwarf albera spruce

Hi, I live in Michigan and after the snow melted our Dwarf Alberta Spruce had a brownish/red spot on the front of it. What is this caused from? There is new growth starting but I would like know what, if anything I can do differently in the future to protect it. Thank you!!
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

This sounds like winter burn on your Dwarf Alberta spruce. I suspect that it's on the south or southwest side of the tree. During winter when the ground is frozen, the tree can't readily pull moisture out of the ground. Yet, on warm days it is transpiring and losing water. So essentially the plant is under mid-winter drought stress. It helps to make certain the soil is saturated going into winter. And if the tree is exposed, you may need to put up a temporary shade barrier of burlap or similar material to keep the browning from recurring.

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