In our yard, we have a small white spruce seedling that was originally
planted about 6 feet from the drip line of a large, 10-foot-tall white
spruce. Years later, now we know we planted the small spruce too close
because now the small one is about 4 feet tall and the large one is about 15
feet tall, and there is only about two feet of empty space between them.
Because the larger spruce's branches grow about 9-12 inches a year, it will
only be about two years before they are touching each other.
Will the big spruce eventually overgrow and kill the smaller spruce? Once
the two trees' branches are touching, does that mean that their roots will
also be touching and competing for the same nutrients -- with the big tree's
roots ultimately winning the battle? Or is there a way to get them to grow
up side by side, touching each other?
The reason I ask is because I know that on our other mature spruce trees,
pine cones don't drop far from the mature trees, and seedlings are always
sprouting out within a few feet of the mature trees. How do these natural
seedlings grow up in nature, when they are growing only a few feet from the
We don't have a good spot in our yard to transplant the smaller spruce, so
if there is a way that it can stay alive and grow up next to the bigger
spruce, we'd prefer to keep it where it is.
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