Hi, I have a tree that looks a lot like your second last picture with the branch stubs. I'm wondering if I should cut those stubs back properly of if it's too late. It must have been cut long ago. Also, I just recently lost a lot of branches due to heavy snow, many still attached to the trees. Is it ok to prune those back now or should I wait until Spring? Thank you for your advice and expertise! Marybeth
It is better for the health of the tree if any stubs are cut back to the collar of the trunk. Make a clean cut so that only the wood on the branch side of the collar is removed. Broken branches from snow can be removed in spring. If not totally broken, it may be possible to arbor tie the snapped branch together so that the cambium (growing layer) can mend itself. This usually works quite well if caught right away. (PS...Please disregard my first response. I posted the answer to another question by mistake. Hope this answer helps!)
Pinching back new growth on candles in spring will encourage the tree to push out further new growth throughout the rest of the growing season. I would also recommend a deep root feeding in early spring to give your tree a boost. Just a note: Blue Spruce require full sun. Shading or too much moisture on any part of the plant can encourage a disease called needle cast, in which needles turn a purplish-brown and die back. Bare areas on the tree can be an early sign.