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It appears that many alberta spruce shrubs have brown areas on them this spring. Is there a solution or will they die?

This is windburn and is pretty common on Albertas, especially after a winter as rough and long as this one.  The needles dry out over the winter and turn brown since the plants are dormant and can’t replenish what moisture has been lost.  Usually they recover and grow new needles but, if the dessication is severe enough sections may not recover and sometimes the entire plant is lost.  Time will tell as spring warms up and they come out of dormancy.  Here’s a link on how to help evergreens recover from winter damage.

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