Q. Is it a good idea to add soil around my beautiful blue spruce trees? I was always told that this would harm the roots. – Geri Engle, Fargo A. It is usually not advised to add soil over the root zone of trees. Tree roots grow and occupy the soil layers and depths that best optimize their growth. Additional soil can smother roots and lead to a tree’s decline. An inch of soil would probably cause no harm, but it sounds like your trees are beautiful, and I’d hesitate to make changes. Spruce roots are fairly shallow, and deep cultivation is also not recommended. Q.
Long before I studied horticulture and was employed by North Dakota State University, I was a little boy who loved vegetable gardening and flowers. The formal education that came later was invaluable, but my love of growing plants was instilled by parents and relatives whose example and practical gardening wisdom ignited a spark for which I am forever grateful. My wife Mary and I recently celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. Not bad, since I'm not exactly the Brad Pitt of the gardening world. On our second date, I invited Mary to transplant seedlings in the college greenhouses.