I own and operate a small tree farm. I also grow containerized fir and spruce trees. I have been growing them in dirt (top soil), which makes them heavy and hard to manage. I bought some material from a local nursery to plant them in, and whatever they mix together killed all 200 of the trees. They claimed I planted them wrong. I don't think so, only a few of the ones in the soil didn't survive. Can someone tell me what I should be growing my trees in? I start with 2-2's in 5-gallon pots.
You should be using a soilless mix of some kind for the containers. Plain soil can compact and make it hard for the plants to grow. That being said, it is hard to say what killed the plants without having been there to see the potting mix. It is possible that if the nursery mixes their own, they had too much fertilizer.
But, I would not give up on potting soil. Make sure that when you first use it to plant the trees that the soil is completely wet, and do not allow it to dry out completely. A down side of potting mix is that if it becomes dry or is not wet enough, it will actually repel water when watered normally. You need to soak it in a bucket or tub of water to get it to re-wet if this happens.
I want to plant some trees at the bottom of my garden but the neighbor can be quite arrogant. Is there any set distance from his property to where I would like to plant the trees, and which trees would be suitable? I would like to plant some sort of firs without too much root and not too much higher than my 6-foot fence.
Most areas have laws that state overhang onto a neighbor's property can be cut back by the neighbor, so you may want to plant far enough away to prevent overhang. These articles have some nice suggestions for privacy type trees, which is what it sounds like you are looking for:
My fig tree has light gray scale-like stuff on the bark of the tree. The leaves are small and the tree just looks sick. What could this be and how to treat? Thanks, Terry
While I cannot be sure, it sounds like a scale infestation. Neem oil should help. Here is an article or two that you may find helpful: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/pests/scale-bug-how-to-control-plant-scale.htm
It could also be lichen, which is not harmful to the tree but is attracted to unhealthy or stressed plants. If you want to get rid of it or simply get more info to see if this is your problem, here is an article that you may find helpful: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/fungus-lichen/treatment-tree-lichen.htm
I have a very large fir tree w/large interesting looking roots (above ground) in my yard. My kids like to play on them but get covered in pitch. I was thinking I could paint them with some kind of strong primer to cover the pitch. Would this work, and if so, could you suggest a good product for this idea? Thank you, NBT
Sap typically oozes from open wounds on the tree. I suspect that the roots are getting nicked and the sap is coming from those wounds - it could actually be happening due to the kids playing on it. It won't hurt the tree, but does make a mess. Painting could help stop the current wounds from oozing, but would not likely stop future wounds from occurring. In other words, you are likely to find yourself right back to having oozing issues in just a few months.
I don't like to recommend painting wounds on a tree as this can actually trap disease in a wound. So rather than healing clean, they can get infected and fester, causing issues.
I have two small fir trees, about 3 feet high. They are browning from the bottom up. One base about 8 inches of browning, the other is almost 1.5 foot brown. The top halves are fine. Is there anything I can do to repair them?
It could be attributed to any number of things but yes, there are measures you can take to help your tree.
Winter injury - strong possibility especially since we are coming off of the winter months:
A needle blight or needle casting disease:
An insect infestation (look for signs of insects): Pests such as mites, aphids, etc. can damage the tree. If you do have an insect and identify it, do a search on our website for that specific insect and you will find an article with treatment options.
I bought a potted Frasier Fir that had never been indoors. I replanted it in March and all seemed well. In May it started turning into a bright, browny orange color. Now in June it has new dark green shoots at the base. What would be my next move?
It may be infected with the Phytophthora virus. Review the link I provided to see if this matches your trees symptoms.
You description also matches up with winter burn, but the the time of year does not match with this.
Here is a link with more information.
How do I get Silver Fir seeds to germinate? I have a Silver Fir which throws off loads of seeds from its cones. I have been trying, unsuccessfully, to germinate these seeds but have not had any success.
The seeds need to be cold stratified (between 10 and 30 degrees F) for 4 to 6 months. Germination is best accomplished by placing them in a moist, well-aerated soil mix at temperatures between 35 and 40 degrees F. Light enhances germination and development of seedlings. This article will help as well: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/seeds/seed-stratification.htm