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PICEA
SPRUCE


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The genus of Picea is made up of between 34 and 50 species (depending on info source) located in the Northern Hemisphere with around half being from Asia. As far as the genus is concerned the plants are trees of tall or medium size and conical in shape and often confused with the Firs (Abies). One easy way to tell them apart is by the cones, Picea cones almost always hang down while the Abies are upright. We are currently growing cultivars from 9 of the most popular species and evaluating a few more, they are; P. abies, Norway Spruce; P. bicolor, Alcock's Spruce; P. glauca, or White Spruce; P. Mariana, Black Spruce; P. mariorika, mariana x omorika; P. omorika the Serbian Spruce; P. orientalis or Oriental Spruce; P. pungens, Colorado Spruce; and the P. purpurea, Purple-cone Spruce.

Abies
Norway Spruce


As a species Picea abies or Norway Spruce is a columnar tree growing to about 50 or 60 meters with a straight trunk. It is a valuable tree for lumber in Europe. It prefers cool, humid air and a good moist soil. In nature it is found in Central Europe, Scandinavia, and Western Russia to about 2300 feet in extensive forests. There are many fantastic garden types in production and they can be found in every form from conical to weeping to globose or even prostrate. They even have different rates of growth, from the very dwarf habit of P. abies 'Witches' Brood' to the faster growing upright P. abies 'Acrocona. It is easy to understand why the Norway Spruce with all of its diversity is a very popular landscape plant.

Intermediate
Conical
Zone 3
'ACROCONA' A fantastic compact, slow growing, upright tree with semi-pendulous branches having the unique feature of bearing reddish-brown cones on the tips of the branches. This variety originated from the forest outside of Uppsala, Sweden before 1890 and is now widely distributed. Prefers full sun. H:8' W:4'
To see two larger photos (70k) click on the one above.

Intermediate
Pyramidal
Zone 4
'ARGENTEOSPICA' This unique specimen starts out in spring with a flush of new growth that has long white tips , almost looking snow-covered, and then it turns green as the season progresses. It provides much more interest than a regular green tree. Developed by Hesse Nursery and known before 1891. The habit is pyramidal and vigorous. A nice accent plant especially in Spring.

Dwarf
Upright
Zone 4
'CRUSITA' This slow-growing, upright little tree is best known for the unusual color of its new growth, which is a bright purple-red. The older foliage turns into a nnice dark green. This selection is also known as Picea abies 'Cruenta' and it originated in Europe sometime before 1978.

Intermediate
Columnar
Zone 4
'CUPRESSINA' This green narrow upright is becoming more popular in suburban landscapes because its thin upright shape makes a great living fence. The rate of growth is about 8-12" a year when established. It was discovered before 1904 in West Germany.
To see a larger photo (28k) click on the one above.

Dwarf
Upright
Zone 4
'ELEGANTISSIMA' Here is a large selection with foliage that is a bright golden color in spring and later changes to a nice refreshing shade of yellowish- green in the summer.

Intermediate
Weeping
Zone 4
'FROHBURG' Frohburg's Weeping Norway Spruce This new cultivar discovered in Switzerland (Haller) and introduced by Esveld of Boskoop, Holland, is an excellent Weeping Norway Spruce with shorter and thinner needles that are placed tighter along the stem than Picea abies 'Pendula'. The growth habit is also much more desireable because the pendulous branches weep closer to the stem, creating a much cleaner more uniform look. Superior!

Large
Upright/Weeping
Zone 3
'INVERSA' Drooping Norway Spruce. An upright tree with great weeping downswept branches and branchlets. It was discovered by R. Smith in Shropshire, England in 1884 and is now common in cultivation. On old trees branches spread over the ground creating a nice flowing skirt effect. H:/W: depends on training.

NEW!
Dwarf
Conical
Zone 3
KELLERMANS BLUE CAMEO� Do you like Picea abiesPumila�? Well if you do here it is in a nice bluish form that is so rare in a Norway Spruce.

Miniature
Globose
Zone 4
'MAXWELLI' The Maxwell Spruce was developed about 1860 in the T.C. Maxwell Bros. Nursery of Geneva, NY. A nice dwarf flat-topped shrub with an irregular outline, ideal for rock gardens or borders. H:1' W:3' in 20 years.

Dwarf
Spreading
Zone 3
'NIDIFORMIS' Birds Nest Spruce. It was discovered in West Germany before 1906 and since has become one of the most widely distributed dwarf conifers in the world. Slow growing, 3-6" per year with a dense, broad, nest-like habit. Gray-green color. H:3' W:4'
To see a larger photo (34k) click on the one above.

Large
Weeping
Zone 3
'PENDULA' The Weeping Norway Spruce. This one has a nice character, branches and branchlets are gracefully pendulous. Prefers full sun. H:/W: depends on training.
To see a larger photo (29k) click on the one above.

Dwarf
Suqat/conical
Zone 3
PUMILA NIGRA� This one is similar to P. abiesPumila� but it is slightly taller. A good dwarf form with darker green foliage.

Dwarf
Globose
Zone 3
'PUMILA' Deep green foliage with short needles that are very soft to the touch. It is a slow growing, compact form that is very broad. Has been around since 1874 but is not very common. Quite a nice plant. H:3' W:4'

Dwarf
Conical
Zone 3
'PYGMAEA' The Pygmy Norway Spruce is a nice conical and very slow growing plant. It has a compact form with good green color. One of the oldest of the dwarf forms. It has been around since 1800+/-.

Dwarf
Prostrate
Zone 3
'REPENS' The Creeping Norway Spruce has been known in Europe since around 1898. It is a uniformly growing plant that is very prostrate and has a built-up center. It carries its branch shoots on a 45 degree angle creating a neat drooping effect. The coloration is a nice bright green. It will be about 18" high and 3' wide in ten years.
To see a larger photo (30k) click on the one above.

Dwarf
Globose/Mounding
Zone 3
ST. JAMES� Here is a nice dwarf form similar to the Birdsnest Spruce but it has upright shoots and the needles are a good dark green color. It also has a tighter more compact habit that will not need to be pruned.
To see a larger photo (42k) click on the one above.

Dwarf
Spreading
Zone 3
'TABULIFORMIS' The Trailing Norway Spruce was found as a witches' broom in France sometime before 1865. It is a real good dwarf with a prostrate growth habit and a layered flat top with beautiful irregular mounds, kind of like a flying saucer. Very nice! One of my favorites.

NEW!
Intermediate
Pendulous
Zone 4
WEEPING BLUE� This one is quite unusual, it is a blue Norway Spruce that even has a great weeping habit. It also provides us with one other excellent trait, it will produce a nice skirt at the base of the plant to add even more interest. Quite rare!

Intermediate
Upright
Zone 3
WILL�S ZWERG� This one is a densely conical, upright tree that is a semi-dwarf or intermediate in growth habit. The new foliage is a nice light green getting darker with age.

Miniature
Spreading
Zone 3
WITCHES� BROOD� This one starts out life as a flat globe but becomes conical with age. It is very slow growing. The late Linc Foster grew this witches�-broom seedling and gave it to Don Smith at Watnong Nursery . It is a great selection with light green foliage.
To see a larger photo (54k) click on the one above.


Bicolor
Bicolor or Alcock's Spruce


This species is also known as P. alcoquiana or P. alcockiana the Alcock Spruce. In its native habitat of Central Japan, at an altitude of about 700-2100 meters, it will grow to about 25 to 40 meters high and have an acutely conical form. It was discovered by the great collector J. G. Veitch in 1861 and named after Sir Rutherford Alcock. The needles are blue-green beneath and dark green above thereby befitting the name bicolor. We currently are growing only one variety of this species to fit your gardening needs.


Large
Pyramidal
Zone 4
'HOWELLS DWARF' A nice broad globe when young and later turns into a great pyramidal shape in maturity. It has nice green and blue needles and is a great addition to any landscape. H:6' W:3'
To see a larger photo (59k) click on the one above.

Dwarf
Prostrate
Zone 3
PROSTRATA� Here is a great selection with an extremely good ground hugging form. It can develop a leader occasionally but just prune it out.

Glauca
White Spruce


Picea glauca or White Spruce is a conical tree growing to 25 meters high in its native area of Canada, Northern United States from Minnesota to Maine at around 610 to 1700 meters elevation. It is tolerant of coastal sites and strong winds and it likes moist soils. This species has given us quite a few nice cultivars for the garden mostly from the var. albertina which is the western form of the White Spruce. It is the second tallest Picea in North America. Found in Southwest Canada, especially around Alberta, and Northern United States from Montana to Wyoming. All of the cultivars that we grow are much slower than the species.

Dwarf
Conical
Zone 3
'ALBERTINA CONICA' Commonly known as the Dwarf Alberta Spruce. Was discovered growing in the wild in 1904 in Canada. It is one of the most often grown dwarf conifers. There is a plant of this cultivar in France that is 60 years old and only about 12 feet tall. The habit is conical and very dense with rich grass green foliage. H:5' W:2.5'
To see a larger photo (38k) click on the one above.

Miniature
Globose
Zone 3
'CECILIA' This is a super selection that is from a broom that Greg Williams found near Philadelphia, PA. The needles are very short and have a glossy, silvery-blue in color. This very dense, compact miniature will grow only to about the size of a basketball in around 12 years. An excellent choice for the rock garden or anywhere a low maintenance plant is needed.
To see a larger photo click on the one above.

Dwarf
Conical
Zone 4
'JEAN'S DILLY' This super selection is pronounced John's Dilly and is named after Jean Iseli. The growth habit is similar to the P. glauca 'Albertina Conica' except it only grows at 2/3 the rate and spring growth starts about 2-3 weeks later thus eliminating the possibility of frost injury. Great choice! H:3' W:2'

Intermediate
Weeping
Zone 2
'PENDULA' Weeping White Spruce The attractive weeping form of Picea glauca with blue-green foliage on very pendulous branches. More regular than P. abies 'Pendula'. It came from Versailles, France before 1867 and is still quite rare in the US. Truely a landscape gem!
To see a larger photo (30k) click on the one above.

Mariana
Black Spruce


The Black Spruce is commonly found from Labrador to Alaska and south to Michigan and in the mountains to West Virginia. It will grow to about 70 feet and usually has a slender crown. One distinguishing feature is it has quite short cones. We currently grow one variety for your gardening pleasure.

Dwarf
Conical
Zone 3
GOLDEN� This selection is a good golden-yellow color with a nice habit. Quite slow when young.

Mariorika
mariana x omorika

NEW!
Dwarf
Mound/Upright
Zone 4
'MACHALA' Here is a great Spruce that is a hybrid between P. mariana and P. omorika that has some of the best qualities of both species. It was released by Mr. Machala of the Czech Republic in 1971 but is still quite rare in the US.

Omorika
Serbian Spruce


Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association Plant Award

The Serbian Spruce or Picea omorika is, in its native territory of Yugoslavia, Bosnia, and Serbia, found on the steep limestone slopes (900-1700 meters) of the middle Drina River Valley. It is a tall tree to 30 meters and has a narrowly conical or columnar habit. Discovered in 1877 by a Professor Pancic it has yielded numerous interesting dwarf and slow growing garden cultivars of which we are currently growing five.

Intermediate
Weeping
Zone 4
'BERLINER'S WEEPER' This excellent weeping cultivar of the Serbian Spruce has a much more pronounced weeping effect than most of the varieties currently available in the trade. Good bluish-green color. Makes a great specimen plant.

Dwarf
Prostrate
Zone 4
'EXPANSA' This is a prostrate and gracefully spreading form with the needles having silver on one side and blue-green on the top. It originated as a seedling in 1930 in Holland and the original plant is still alive at Trompenburg Arboretum the botanical garden of Dick Van Hoey Smith in Rotterdam and is about 4 meters wide and 80 cm high. Very Attractive!

Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association Plant Award

Dwarf
Globose/Pyramidal
Zone 3
'NANA' The Dwarf Serbian Spruce is a mutation that is a dwarf, and in very old age will reach only about 3 meters. The growth is globose to broadly pyramidal in habit with nice bicolor foliage. Developed in Boskoop, Holland in 1930 by Goudkade. It is now becoming very popular in modern landscaping. Prefers full sun. The size after about ten years will be 3' high and wide.
To see a larger photo (45k) click on the one above.

Large
Weeping
Zone 4
'PENDULA' The Weeping Serbian Spruce is a slender, upright tree with long thin weeping branches that have the characteristic bluish-green bicolor needles that make this species so popular. Very graceful.
To see a larger photo (18k) click on the one above.

NEW!
Miniature
Globose
Zone 4
'PIMOKO' The Pimoko Serbian Spruce is a very dense, broadly globose selection with great silver and blue-green glossy short foliage. It is a nice compact mound with numerous brown buds. With growth of only 1-1/2� a year it should never grow out of bounds. Excellent for the rockery or roof-top gardens.

Large
Upright
Zone 4
'RIVERSIDE' This release is a nice narrow upright grower and is similar to the species but both more vigorous and more columnar. 'RIVERSIDE' has that great omorika-bicolor-type foliage that this species is famous for. This selection is not a weeper but when older its branchlets will droop. Excellent choice where a narrow upright plant is needed!

Orientalis
Oriental Spruce


Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association Plant Award

Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Medal Plant Award

The characteristics of the species Picea orientalis or Oriental Spruce are that it is a tree of up to 55 meters with a pyramidal habit and branches to the ground. The needles are a nice dark green color and held tighter to the branchlet than Picea abies. It occurs in the Mountains of North Asia Minor and Caucasus up to 2400 meters. The species has been in cultivation since about 1770 in Britain. We are lucky to have many of the great dwarf garden cultivars produced by this species over the years. You know it must be a great selection if the species has recieved 2 awards!

Intermediate
Pryamidal
Zone 5
'AUREOSPICATA' This attractive selection was discovered in Germany before 1873. It is a small, narrow, upright tree with dark green needles most of the year but in spring, look out! The new growth jumps right out at you! It has a rich buttery yellow color on the new buds. What a contrast! Then as summer comes the new growth fades back to green. Full sun. Height is about 10 feet in fifteen years. Very nice in that it also adds an 'extra intrest' feature to the landscape.
To see a larger photo (21k) click on small one.

NEW!
Miniature
Nest-like
Zone 4
'BARNES' An excellent flat-topped, almost nest-like plant with short, dark green glossy needles. This miniature grows 1-3� a year. It originated as a witches� broom at the Barnes Arboretum, Merion Station, PA and was introduced by Layne Zigenfuss and Greg Williams around 1970.
To see a larger photo click on small one.


Miniature
Globose
Zone 4
BERGMANS GEM' The short extra-dark green needles of this plant form a very dwarf, broad, flattened globe. Truly a gem. H:15-18" W:15-18"

Intermediate
Pyramidal
Zone 4
'GOWDY' This selection has a beautiful narrowly-columnar shape with extra-dark green shiny needles . The branches hang down creating an interesting weeping effect. An excellent choice for the small yard. Full sun. The size in ten years is about 8' high and 3' wide.
To see a larger photo (41k) click on small one.


Dwarf
Conical
Zone 4
'GRACILIS NANA' This is a nice dense, conical dwarf with short glossy green needles. We have previously carried this cultivar under the incorrect name of P. orientalis 'NANA GRACILIS. In any case this is a wonderful selection of orientalis.
To see a larger photo (35k) click on small one.

NEW!
Miniature
Globose
Zone 5
'MT. VERNON' This extremely tiny ball-shaped plant has nice dark green color on very short needles. It only grows about 1" per year and therefore will never need pruning. It was found at Wells Nursery in Mt Vernon Washington around 1975 is has developed quite a following since.

Dwarf
Conical
Zone 5
'NIGRA COMPACTA' A nice deep extra-dark green color with a tight compact conical growth habit. Superior choice.
NEW!
Large
Pendulous
Zone 5
'NUTANS' The Weeping Oriental Spruce dates back to 1905. It was found in Hungary and introduced by Hesse. This large growing selection has a nice irregular weeping form and in 10 years should be about 10� tall.

Dwarf
Weeping
Zone 5
'PENDULA' Known as the Weeping Oriental Spruce. This extremely rare cultivar is very attractive with the glossy, dark green foliage that Picea orientalis is so notable for. It is a compact, slow growing, upright form, that after a few years has all the lateral branchlets nodding downward creating an attractive weeping habit. Very Nice!

Intermediate
pyramidal
Zone 4
'SKYLANDS' A golden form of the Oriental Spruce that is broadly pyramidal. Very attractive specimen. This could be P. orientalis 'Aurea Compacta but supposedly came from Skyland Farms in New Jersey. Either way it is a fantastic plant and like other P. orientalis selections it will get red cones in the spring adding even more interest. Needs partial shade when young. Becoming very an extremely popular choice. H:3' W:3'
To see a larger photo (54k) click on small one.


Pungens
Colorado Spruce


Picea pungens, the Colorado Spruce, grows as a broadly conical tree about 21 to 30 meters tall in its native area of Colorado, New Mexico, Eastern Utah, Arizona, and Wyoming on the banks of streams or rocky ledges at 1800 to 3350 meters. The Colorado Spruce is very tolerant of dry winds. It was introduced in 1862 by Dr. Parry and due to many great garden forms is now an extremely popular plant. All our cultivars are of the glauca group which consists of the blue or blue-white forms. They range in growth rate from P. pungens 'Fat Albert' (12 feet in ten years) to P. pungens 'St. Mary's Broom' (1 foot in ten years).

Intermediate
Pyramidal
Zone 2
'FAT ALBERT' This is a dense, upright tree that also has real good blue colored needles. Very nice grower. Prefers full sun. H:12-14' W:3-4'

Large
Upright
Zone 2
'FASTIGIATA' This cultivar is very popular due to its extremely narrow columnar habit. It is an excellent choice for the small garden, in the tight restricted area in a city garden or any place where a strong vertical statement in needed.

Miniature
Globose
Zone 2
'GLAUCA GLOBOSA' The Globe Blue Spruce. This is a nice miniature plant with a good globose habit. It is also very dense and compact with a nice blue coloration. It originated as a seedling in A. Kluis Nursery, Boskoop, Holland in 1937 and was introduced in 1955 by Le Febre & Co. It has become one of our best selling Colorado Spruces. Excellent selection for the small garden. Full sun. H:2.5' W:2.5'
To see a larger photo (43k) click on the one above.

Intermediate
Weeping
Zone 2
'GLAUCA PENDULA' The Weeping Blue Spruce. This is another one of my favorites. A slow growing, irregularly shaped tree with downswept branches creating a nice weeping effect. The foliage is a superb silver-blue-white color that can brighten up any landscape. It was introduced by Koster & Co. Boskoop, Holland in 1895. H:/W: depends on training.
To see a larger photo (33k) click on the one above.

Intermediate
Procumbent
Zone 3
GLAUCA PROCUMBENS� The Procumbent Blue Spruce. This selection is quite similar to the Prostrate Blue Spruce. It will remain low and creeping if not staked. Great choice!
To see a larger photo (33k) click on the one above.

Intermediate
Prostrate
Zone 3
GLAUCA PROSTRATA' The Prostrate Colorado Blue Spruce. This plant is a very procumbent cultivar of Picea pungensand it has excellent blue color. The low growing spreading habit makes it a great ground cover or superb for cascading over stone walls. There is a excellent plant in the garden of Dick Van Hoey Smith in the Trompenburg Arboretum in Rotterdam, Holland that is 2 meters wide and only 16 inches high. It creates a fantastic waterfall effect if staked upright to about 3 feet and is then allowed to cascade downward. Prefers full sun. H:/W: depends on training but it grows about 6"/yr.
To see a larger photo (23k) click on the one above.

Intermediate
Pyramidal
Zone 3
'HOOPSI' A strongly upright, dense pyramidal tree with bright blue needles, possibly the brightest blue of the Colorado Spruces. Developed in the former Hoops Nursery and introduced by F. J. Grootendorst around 1959. Full sun. H:8' W:3'

Miniature
Globose/Pyramidal
Zone 3
'MONTGOMERY' This miniature, very compact form is slow growing and will grow slightly taller than wide with a broad pyramidal habit. The color is a nice bright greyish-blue. It originated as a seedling and was developed by Eastern Nursery before 1934 under the name Picea pungens 'Glauca Compacta Globose', Boy what a mouthful! This plant was obtained by Col. R. H. Montgomery who donated it to the New York Botanic Garden where it still grows today. Great selection for the small garden! The difference between this and P. pungens 'Globosa' is this one will eventually develop a central leader and grow somewhat upright. This will take many many years. Full sun. H:2' W 2'

Miniature
Globose
Zone 3
'ST. MARY'S BROOM' The most dwarf of the blue forms we grow. Its even tighter than P. pungens 'Montgomery' or 'Globosa'. It is broad, slightly conical and very slow, making it a fantastic choice for the Rock, Japanese or Dwarf Conifer Garden. Quite rare.
To see a larger photo (62k) click on the one above.

Dwarf
Conical
Zone 3
'WALNUT GLEN' The Golden Colorado Spruce. This golden needled form of Colorado Blue Spruce has a nice bluish-gold color that may burn when young but once established looks magnificent. Full sun or parital shade. H:6' W:3' Rare in todays landscapes.
To see a larger photo (62k) click on the one above.



PURPUREA
Purple Cone Spruce



Large
Conical
Zone 5
This species is a conical compact tree 20 to 40 meters high in its native area of Western China in the mountains at 3000 to 4000 meters. It was introduced by E. H. Wilson in 1910. The foliage is a nice dark green and the very distinctive cones are a bright violet-red that adds even more interest to this already appealing tree.



Please prune the Globe Blue Spruce to return to the top.

�1997-2009
All rights reserved.
All photos copyright by Jim Smith and may not be used in any manner without the authors written consent.
372 Seeley-Cohansey Rd Bridgeton, NJ 08302
856.451.2259    
fax: 856.451.2442





GROWTH
PER YEAR


Miniature........
less than 3"

Dwarf............
3-6"

Intermediate.....
6-12"

Large............
more than 12"