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Plant Diseases/Colorado Blue Spruce

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Question
I have recently bought a new home in Baltimore City, Maryland which has several trees on the property, including a very large Magnolia, a huge Holly tree and a massive Colorado Blue Spruce.  My question is about the spruce mainly.

The Holly and spruce are fairly close together - about 10 feet apart and are both rather large (at least 35 feet tall).  The house was also abandoned for a number of years, and in that time a large amount of grapevine and wisteria have invaded both trees.  I have had several arborists out to check, and both say the trees are still viable despite this, and that as long as I can clear the vines they should be okay.  However, we are considering removing the holly (it is lowering driver visibility on our street and is close to the power lines).

Here is my concern/question.  The side of the spruce that is shaded by the holly is dead looking - there is very little if any green, and all the experts seem to agree it is because of lack of sun.  However, while some experts have told me that if I remove the Holly, the spruce will recover on the "dead" side, others have said it will not and will just be an eyesore.  Is there any way to settle this debate?  I don't want to pay to have the (very healthy and pretty) holly removed only to reveal a skeleton tree-side that will never get better.  Thanks so much (and sorry for the lengthy question).

-Sarah

Answer
Hardwood trees have the capability of re-sprouting growth but conifers do not. The limbs that died from the shading will not re-sprout. And if the other tree  is removed  you will have a lopsided looking spruce. Since they have grown like this for a while I would leave them as is and not remove one. They will grow side by side fine. I hope this helps.

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Jim Hyland

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30 years experiance in the ID and management of forest diseases and ID of landscape tree diseases.

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