Transplant Shock

is the result of disturbing the existing root system. When large caliper trees are dug a portion of the root system is cut off. The initial response of a newly transplanted tree is to re-establish the root system, which may take up to three years. To minimize the transplant shock we can provide water and fertilizer, especially phosphates which are required for new root development.


A diligent water program is essential for tree survival. Colorado Blue Spruce like moist but not saturated soils. There is a variety of soils around Calgary and a variety of watering requirements. A moist soil will hold its shape if you roll it into a ball in your hand. A saturated soil will drip water when squeezed. The moisture content of your soil should be monitored to gain insight on “how much” and “how frequently” to water your trees. Depending on the rains supplemental water may be needed each week or once a month.


A tissue analysis of the needles from my Colorado Blue Spruce showed the following elements: Nitrogen, Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Magnesium, Sulphur, Zinc, Boron, Manganese, Copper and Iron. All are required for healthy growth. Fortunately all the nutrients are typically found in our soil. However they may not be readily available. For instance a tree surrounded by grass will have to compete for the available food. The removal of grass and weeds will improve the growing conditions for the tree. The soil can be cultivated or mulched. A 10 year farm test showed 35% more growth on poplar planted into black soil versus poplar planted into grass sod.