How to Grow Norway Spruce Trees

Updated November 21, 2016

Norway spruce trees are prized for their ability to make effective wind barriers, offer privacy when planted in borders and contribute a dramatic focal point to yards. This fast-growing tree when properly planted can grow vigorously throughout the growing season. The key to growing a successful Norway spruce is to keep its root system from drying out. By adhering to a watering routine, giving it the right fertiliser and preventing weeds from infringing on the tree's nutrients, a Norway Spruce can last a lifetime.

Test the soil's pH and add the recommended amendments from that test to the soil.

Remove all vegetation from the designated planting area or around an existing seedling. Dig up the weeds by hand. Spread a 6-inch layer of mulch around the tree.

Plant the Norway spruce six weeks before the first frost. Give your tree at least 1 inch of water around its base up until the first frost.

Fertilise the Norway spruce with a slow-release fertiliser such as a 20-20-20 NPK twice a month in the spring and once a month in the summer. Follow the label directions for dosage. Cease fertilising in the late fall.

Prune away competing leaders from the tree's main leader, which grows from the trunk. Prune again in the winter to remove competing leaders.


Soil test kits are available at most garden centres or county extension offcies. Norway spruce trees prefer a pH range of 5 to 7.5. Conduct yearly pH tests on the tree if you notice stunted growth or excessive defoliation. Plant your Norway spruce immediately after purchasing it to prevent drying out the root system. Dry soil causes lower soil temperatures than moist soil. To know when to water you tree, press you fingers into the first 3 inches of soil. If it feels dry then give your tree water. Trees, grass and nearby weeds will compete with the Norway spruce's nutrients in the soil.


Avoid spraying around the tree with herbicide because the chemicals can kill the tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil ph test
  • Shovel
  • Lime
  • Sulphur
  • Mulch
  • Fertiliser
  • Pruning saw
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