Such a different spruce


Once, in a comment to an article about conifers, one reader wrote that she did not like to eat in the garden. And it was not about superstition, I just considered this tree too simple.

That’s exactly what I said five years ago. But having somehow entered the site of a coniferous plant nursery, she once and for all abandoned her words.

Spruce is simply an amazing tree for an ornamental garden. And all thanks to the work of breeders.

How many incredibly beautiful, unusual and even bizarre varieties can be found on the pages of catalogs.

Well, here’s what we knew about Christmas trees — a Christmas tree with short needles and blue spiky pyramids that adorn official properties.
But in fact, these are beautiful “thorns” of absolutely stunning shapes:

  • perfect pyramids of different shades,
  • hairy giants with hanging branches,
  • Christmas trees-sticks, and in the truest sense of the word,
  • monster Crooked Trees,
  • green balls,
  • something incomprehensible, creeping on the ground,
  • cascading crowns falling like a waterfall,
  • incredibly aesthetic, as if descended from the pages of fairy tales, green firs in golden lace.

Spruce does not retain the shape of the crown: at first it is a few prickly «sticks», after 10 years — a lush beauty, after 30 — a plant that is not always predictable, but always interesting in shape.

This shaggy treasure is called the Brewera spruce. She will not be small, but at any age this beauty will delight you with her attractive appearance.

But this «it is not clear what» is a familiar blue spruce, but of a weeping form. If it is not tied to a support, then it will grow «wherever your heart desires.»

Remember «fir-trees-sticks»? This is probably about the Virgata spruce. Very young, she is angular and elongated, as befits a teenager.

After 10 years, stick branches turn into a beautiful openwork crown, albeit slightly unusual.

Advanced age gives this spruce a luxurious long fringe. This spruce is considered a real exotic for an ornamental garden and requires a certain amount of space.

In front of you is a very slowly growing Norway spruce, Nifidormis. Now it is a small green pillow. However, after many years it will grow into a huge umbrella on a low leg. And up to 30 years it will be a light conifer of a small size.

One more «it is not clear that». This time Froburg spruce. Without support, her trunk will be «directed by itself»

And the tree will grow like this. If, at a young age, a vertical support is placed, the trunk will turn out to be relatively vertical and straight with a freely hanging top. In the photo, spruce is an ordinary Inverse.

Do they really look like blue balls? Not surprisingly, the Vedas are the Globoza (globe) spruce. They are slow growing, dwarf, which is very convenient for a small garden.

Some unusual views are, as they say, «an amateur», but absolutely everyone likes this one. Meet the Eastern spruce Aureaspikata.

Almost all spruces lend themselves readily to shearing, they form thorny hedges, planting young Christmas trees in 1 m increments.

In total, there are about 45 species of this conifer in nature. Here I present the most popular in ornamental gardening, as well as their most beautiful varieties, or rather, a small part of them.

European spruce, common (Picea abies)

  • Habitat: Northeast Europe.
  • Height: up to 30 m.
  • Color spectrum: tetrahedral green needles.
  • Growing conditions: prefers fertile soils (from sands to loams), but without stagnant moisture.
  • Peculiarities: evergreen tree with a symmetrical conical shape

Norway spruce «Acrocona» will not leave indifferent lovers of the exotic.

Its irregular shapes, creeping branches, bifurcation, and even the alignment of peaks — everything makes it inimitable.

Another distinguishing feature is the red cones at the ends of the branches.

It grows slowly, the maximum height is not more than 2 m in height and 4 in width.

«Formanek» — one of the weeping varieties of common spruce.

How to shape it is your decision. If you create a support, then over time, an adult plant will resemble a long witch’s cap in shape: a wide skirt of green branches below, after a strong narrowing and a drooping crown. Very impressive.

And if you let it grow on its own, then it will develop into an inimitable and bizarre form (photo on the right).

dwarf variety «Little Gem» does not grow more than half a meter, forming a pillow about a meter in diameter.

A great option for a small garden, alpine slide or coniferous mix.

Spruce blue, prickly (Picea pungens)

  • Habitat: western North America.
  • Height: 25-30 m.
  • Color spectrum: long diamond-shaped needles, from gray-green to blue.
  • Growing conditions: undemanding to soils, although it prefers moist
  • Peculiarities: an evergreen tree with a beautiful symmetrical conical shape, slow growing, takes root well in Ukraine.

Spruce blue «Blue Pearl» — dwarf variety of prickly spruce.

Not the only one in the form of a dwarf spruce with a spherical crown.

An excellent contrasting element in green mixes.

Spruce blue «Bealobok» charming in spring and early summer, when young milky-white growths appear.

The crown is conical, irregular.

By the age of ten, it reaches a height of 1.5-2 m.

Serbian spruce (Picea omorika)

  • Habitat: the Drina valley in Western Siberia, eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • Height: 25-30 m
  • Color spectrum: needles blue-green above and white-blue below
  • Growing conditions: prefers moist loams, but can grow in any soil.
  • Peculiarities: an evergreen tree, quite rare in nature, but popular in culture, columnar crown.

Serbian spruce is very beautiful «Pendula».

Planted in an array at different times, it forms narrow columns of different heights. It is also recommended as a tapeworm in a conspicuous place.

By the age of twenty, it reaches a height of 10-15 m.

It likes permeable soils with slight acidity, acidic soils are recommended to be limed.

«Nana» — dwarf variety of Serbian spruce. Its maximum height of 3.5 m will be reached in about 30 years.

Attractive lush crown almost spherical at a young age and wide-conical after the second decade.

Dislikes acidic soils.

Eastern spruce (Picea orientalis)

  • Habitat: mountains of the Caucasus, northern Asia Minor.
  • Height: up to 50 m
  • Color spectrum: needles are shiny, green.
  • Growing conditions: thermophilic, prefers alkaline soils.
  • Peculiarities: evergreen tree, slow growing in our climate.

Eastern spruce «Aureospicata» — the most favorite variety of gardeners.

It is characterized by the yellow color of young growths, for which it received its name. By winter, the growths change color to green.

In the climate of Ukraine, it freezes slightly, but recovers in the spring.

Spruce Brewera (Picea breweriana)

  • Habitat: Klamath Mountains in North America.
  • Height: up to 40 m.
  • Color spectrum: the needles are long, flat, blue-green above, dull gray below.
  • Growing conditions: alkaline soils, climate close to high mountains.
  • Peculiarities: evergreen tree, one of the oldest types of spruce; does not have hybrids and varieties; by the age of 20, a characteristic «weeping» of the branches appears.

Canadian sprucegray (Picea glauca)

  • Habitat: North America.
  • Height: 15-20 m.
  • Color spectrum: the needles are blue-green above, blue-white below.
  • Growing conditions: undemanding to moisture and soil, drought and wind resistant.
  • Peculiarities: evergreen tree with a mass of ornamental varieties, resistant to urban conditions.

«Conica» — perhaps the most famous spruce variety.

It grows very slowly, forms a dense, dense crown of an ideal conical shape.

Good both in a single landing and in arrays.

It is a malleable object for a curly haircut.

At the age of ten reaches a height of 1 m. Frost resistance zone 5-6.

Sanders Blue — a charming variety of Canadian spruce.

The shape is the same as that of Konika, but the color is blue with splashes of green.

Slow-growing, at 10 years old it barely grows to 80 cm, the maximum growth height is 2.5 m.

Likes fertile, well-drained soils.

The least susceptible to winter burns.

If the pine loves light sandy soils, then rich loams are more to their liking. Maybe because in nature these trees do not often grow side by side.
Spruce has negative energy, so you should not stay under its canopy for too long, do not arrange gazebos under it. However, for the same reason, spruce is a healer of chronic diseases and it is recommended for older people to sit on a bench under it. The main thing is not too long.
High spruce spruces are intended only for large areas. And for a small garden, their decorative varieties are recommended.

A place for an unusual spruce on the lawn, dwarf — in rockeries, pyramidal — in the foreground or background in the garden — depends on the final height.


Small spruces are planted in arrays of the same variety: in pairs, in trinity, up to five pieces in one composition. You can also plant 1-2 trees of a different variety with them, differing in color and size.

Tall spruces (Serbian in the photo) look better in a single copy, presented against the background of deciduous trees. So their openwork silhouettes will stand out more clearly, especially in the autumn.

The stone texture blends perfectly with the juicy needles of Nana, Nifidormis, Konika firs.

Small and regular in shape, Globoza will decorate the lawn, paths, compositions near the facade of the house. In the company, you can add thuja, cypress and juniper to it.

Seed propagation of spruce does not guarantee the preservation of varietal characteristics. But spruce is perfectly propagated by cuttings.

Tips of branches of the first, second and third order of branching are suitable for cuttings. Cut they cannot be — the cuttings are broken out with a «heel».

This heel is placed in a moist substrate, having previously been cleaned of burrs, covered with a film and soil moisture is controlled.

Root formation will begin only in the tenth week, by autumn roots grow up to 15 cm, the cutting should branch out.

Optimum rooting temperature: soil — 13-20 0C, air (at the level of the buds of the cutting) — 10-190 FROM.

Based on this, it follows that the harvesting and planting of cuttings should be carried out in early March.

If you start the procedure in August, then the cuttings will not have time to form roots before winter, but they will appear in the spring.
Two-year-old seedlings can be transplanted to a permanent place.
Spruce, unlike pine, is more supportive of transplantation. But she loves moisture (do not confuse with waterlogging), so in the first year she should be watered regularly.
It is better to transplant in the spring, but it is possible in the fall. A container plant can theoretically be planted at any time, but do not do this during the hot summer period.
To retain moisture the bottom of the pit is covered with a mixture of soil and clay, you can add aquagel to the soil. This will help the young plant to survive the transplant more easily and get used to the new place.

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