How much are blue spruce trees
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Spruce trees consist of around 35 evergreen conifer species in the genus Picea. These can be found throughout most of the northern hemisphere, and there are several species native to the United States. In the wild most of them are large, conical or pyramidal forms, but dwarf cultivars also exist; these are versatile and attractive shrubs that have proven very popular with gardeners.
Spruce wood has been widely used for a range of purposes for many centuries, and in many cultures the foliage has been used as a medicine or food source. The tree holds an important place in the folklore of both Scandinavia and the USA. It’s still commercially important both for timber and paper; the strong wood is highly valued for many specialist purposes as well as a general building material.
A spruce tree – or several – can add a lot to your garden, but planting one isn’t a decision to be taken lightly. It’s important to pick the right species, and to plant it in the ideal location and look after it properly. Here’s a handy guide to choosing and caring for a young spruce.
How to Buy Spruce Trees
Spruce trees grow very slowly as seedlings and can be vulnerable for several years after germinating. To give yourself the best chance of successfully growing one you should get yours from a reputable nursery like The Tree Center, who will have given it the care it needs in the vital early part of its life. Decide what you’re looking for in your garden, pick the perfect spot and the species of spruce you want to plant there, then order it from The Tree Center.
How to Plant Spruce Trees
Sun: Full sun is best for spruces.
Water: Water a newly planted spruce thoroughly. Continue to water daily for at least two weeks, then weekly for the first growing season.
When to plant: The best time to plant a spruce is in fall, when it’s gone dormant for the year. Spring, after the last frosts, is the next best alternative.
Proper planting will maximize your chances of having a trouble-free spruce tree. Here’s how to do it:
Pick the spruce that’s best suited to your garden and local conditions, and order it from The Tree Center. Choose the ideal spot in your garden, looking for somewhere that gets adequate sunlight and is well drained. Also bear in mind the likely size of your tree when it’s mature; stay clear of overhead cables and don’t plant too close to your home or any structure that could be damaged by roots.
Once your tree arrives prepare a hole for it. First loosen a circle at least three feet wide with a fork. Then dig a hole slightly deeper than the height of your tree’s root ball – about three inches is good – and about twice its width. If the soil is very poor quality dig six inches deeper than the root ball and add a layer of compost.
Now unwrap the root ball and loosen it. Stand the tree in the center of the hole and spread the roots out. Fill the hole with soil and gently tamp it down. There’s no need to tamp too firmly, just hard enough to remove any large air pockets. If your soil is very loose it might be necessary to stake the tree until its root system becomes firmly established.
Make a raised ring of soil around the base of the tree and put a layer of mulch inside it. Fill the ring with water until it stops soaking into the ground.
Spruce trees are tolerant of a wide range of different soils. Acidic, neutral or slightly alkaline are all fine, although if your soil is very alkaline it’s a good idea to mix some peat moss or rock sulfur with the soil before refilling the hole. They prefer good drainage but aren’t very sensitive to it; many gardeners have had good results planting spruces in clay, although it won’t hurt to mix some sand in while planting if your soil is very heavy. Climate is far more important for spruces than soil; they can thrive in virtually any ground but don’t like too much heat at all.
A spruce tree needs reasonable access to water. Their roots are shallow, so they’re vulnerable to the ground drying out, and in long spells without rain it’s important to keep them watered. When newly planted fill the ring around the trunk daily, and keep watering until the ground won’t soak up any more. This should be continued until the tree is established, then weekly for the first growing season (or more often if the weather is dry).
Later, watering will only be required when there hasn’t been much rain. Deep watering is best as it will encourage the roots to grow downwards; surface watering around the root zone will make the tree’s supports even shallower, so water heavily round the base of the tree rather than lightly over a wide area.
Mulch and Fertilizer
Fertilizer should only be necessary when planting in poor soil. If your tree doesn’t thrive as it matures try some balanced, slow release fertilizer around the base, but usually this won’t be required.
Mulch, however, is much more important. The water retention ring around a young spruce should have a good layer of mulch inside, to help prevent evaporation and keep the roots cool. Once the tree is established it’s still a good idea to keep a layer of shredded bark or wood chips around its base. If the soil is poor these will also add useful nutrients as they decompose.
Information on Spruce Trees
Planting a spruce can transform your garden. Most species are large and imposing trees that can live for hundreds of years, and will add both character and shelter to your property – they make great windbreaks, for example. The spruce also has a solid place in history and mythology.
Around the Baltic spruce trees traditionally had their own goddess, Egle. The spruce’s distinctive form appears on many Scandinavian coats of arms. Closer to home they are also important in Native American legends; for example the Hopi believe that they are the reincarnated spirit of a great medicine man and use the branches in many rituals.
Commercially, spruce timber is very widely used. It isn’t very resistant to rot or pests unless treated but it is both light and strong; it’s been used as a building material for centuries and is also an excellent choice for many musical instruments, including pianos, violins and guitars. Spruce was used in many wooden aircraft designs, including the famous Wright Flyer and the De Havilland Mosquito. Because of its long fibers spruce is also pulped for paper manufacture.
Because of their shape, spruces are commonly used as Christmas trees. Spruce beer can be brewed from fresh shoots; it’s very rich in Vitamin C.
Spruce Tree Varieties and Cultivars
There are about 35 known species of spruce, although the exact number is still debated because it can be very hard to tell some species apart. Most varieties are large, conical trees reaching up to 200 feet high but there are also dwarf cultivars. Whatever you’re looking for in your garden it’s likely there’s a spruce that will suit you perfectly. Here are a couple of examples:
The Norway Spruce is a pyramidal tree that can grow to a height of about 60 feet in cultivation. It’s suitable for cold climates and will thrive even through the harshest winters in the USA. On the other hand it doesn’t like heat and isn’t a good choice in the southern parts of the country.
The Colorado Spruce (Glauca Globosa) is a dwarf species well known for its attractive silvery-blue foliage. It usually grows up to around five feet high and has a rounded, spreading form; it’s idea for planting in rock gardens and can also be shaped into a hedge. Like most spruces it’s best in a cool climate, and is easily hardy enough to survive any winter it’s likely to experience. It’s more drought tolerant than many spruces although it does do better with regular rain.
Benefits of Spruce Trees
Spruce has been popular with gardeners for centuries, and there are many benefits to planting one (or more). Native species form a link between your garden and nature; they provide a home for many species of birds as well as food for native moths and other insects. Because of their dense foliage spruce trees also make excellent windbreaks; a row of them can give your garden some very useful shelter.
Spruce Tree Concerns
Susceptibility to pests and disease varies between species. White, blue and Norway spruce can all suffer from various fungal infections, although these can now be treated if caught early enough. Pests like scale and aphids can be a problem. While moth and butterfly larvae that feed on spruce don’t usually do any serious damage an unusually heavy infection can stress a tree. However, the worst threat to spruces is a long period of hot or dry weather.
Buy Baby Blue Spruces Trees Online
A Blue Spruce is the classic specimen tree for cooler regions, but a tree that can reach 100 feet is not ideal for everyone! If you could get that classic silver-blue foliage and perfect symmetry in a small tree, wouldn’t you jump at the chance? Well, Baby Blue is here to give satisfaction. The perfect miniature Blue Spruce, this great dwarf form fits into small lawns as well as garden beds and corners around your house. If you live in colder regions, then this is the ideal plant for that stand-out specimen that will bring character and color to your garden.
- Ideal dwarf and upright form
- Perfect bright silver-blue color
- Needs no trimming to have perfect symmetry
- Hardy and trouble-free
- Thrives in the coldest areas
Baby Blue Spruce will make an ideal specimen plant without any clipping, but it can also be used for a knock-out hedge that will stop any eyesore and look great all-year-round. Cold, wind and snow have no effect on this hardy plant that takes minus 40 in its stride and will tolerate periods of drought too.
Trees have a multitude of uses in the garden – windbreaks, screening your private space from observation, adding vertical interest and many more – and the Colorado spruce is an excellent choice for any of these roles. There are many cultivars to choose from, ranging in size from dwarf varieties to some that can reach through 60 feet or more, but one of the most versatile is the Picea pungens semi-dwarf Baby Blue.
Colorado Spruce is a North American species and, as the name suggests, it’s native to the Rocky Mountains. Its natural range extends from southern Montana through Idaho and down to New Mexico, and in the wild it can reach heights of over 100 feet. Both large and dwarf varieties have been used in garden design for many years but the species’ versatility increased even more in 1972, when an unusual seedling was discovered in a batch of young spruces.
Baby Blue Spruce Appearance
Baby Blue is a mid-sized spruce that reaches heights of between 15 and 20 feet, and usually spans anywhere from six to ten feet across. If left to grow naturally it takes on the typical pyramid shape seen in many conifers; its branches are horizontal and grow right down to the ground.
The branches are thickly covered with bristly bluish-green needles up to an inch and a half long – it’s their color that gives it its other popular name of blue spruce. The needles are unusually stiff, with a four-edged cross section. Colorado spruce doesn’t flower but it will produce cones in late summer and fall. When mature these are quite dull gray-brown, but younger cones have prominent red arils that make a colorful display at the tips of the branches.
Baby Blue Spruce Hardiness
Thanks to its mountain heritage this is quite a robust tree and it can be successfully grown in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 to 7. This makes it suitable for almost anywhere in the Rockies (unsurprisingly), all but the very northern parts of New England and the Midwest, and much of the eastern seaboard down to South Carolina. If you’re in that large area and you want some Baby Blues in your garden start looking for a spot with acidic, moist but well-drained soil; that’s where it will thrive best.
Growing and Caring For Baby Blue Spruce
The moisture level is especially important when the tree is young; as it matures it becomes more tolerant of droughts. As for sunlight a spot in full sun is ideal. It will do fine with some light shade but, in the cooler climates it prefers, getting the light all day will bring out the best in the blue spruce. It doesn’t like humidity though, and try to avoid locations that get warmed by a lot of reflected sunlight. This isn’t a tree to put in a small bed in the middle of a paved yard, because it will struggle in the heat.
Once you’ve got your Baby Blue established it doesn’t really need a lot of maintenance. As long as you keep the soil moist for the first few years it should grow into a strong, trouble-free tree. There aren’t many serious problems with disease or pests. Needle cast, canker and rust are occasional problems, so look out for needles that turn brown before falling – these can be a sign of trouble. Aphids and a variety of other insects, including scale and bagworms, may colonize the tree. More serious are spider mites, which can affect new growth and your spruce’s general health. If any of these pests appear get rid of them promptly with an appropriate treatment.
Pruning and Trimming
This variety of spruce can also tolerate quite a lot of pruning, and that makes it ideal as a screening tree to add some privacy to your yard. A line of Baby Blues will block anyone from overlooking your space, without looking at all artificial or intrusive. Because the foliage extends to ground level and is quite wind-resistant they also make fairly effective windbreaks.
Using the Baby Blue Spruce as Christmas Trees
There’s one other use for these trees that deserves a mention. Thanks to their color, rich foliage and classic shape they make perfect Christmas trees. It’s not too difficult to plant a succession of them so one matures n time for the holiday season every year and can be cut for the home.
Alternatively, some outdoor lights will transform a blue spruce in your garden into a seasonal masterpiece. This cultivar is ideally sized for the purpose and very popular in some regions. It also doesn’t tend to shed needles as easily as some other Christmas tree options, so it’s a tidy choice as well as a very attractive one.
The Perfect Conifer for Any Garden
Overall this is a perfect conifer for any garden, and as it’s resistant to air pollution it’s as happy in the city as in a more rural setting. We have an extensive range of conifers at The Tree Center but the Baby Blue spruce is one of our definite favorites.
Blue Spruce Seedlings: Planting and Care
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For most of us, such a seemingly familiar tree as spruce traditionally evokes persistent associations with the most beloved holidays of the year and the high spirits that accompany them. In this regard, modern landscape designers recommend spruces for the design of urban and suburban areas. Solving the problems of decorating a garden, professionals offer various types of fir trees, from familiar and well-known varieties to exotic and very bizarre ones. A worthy place among the general coniferous favorites is occupied by blue spruce - an important person in any area.
Requirements for blue spruce seedlings
- If a decision has been made to plant blue spruce in a garden plot or near a town house, the first step is to decide on a seedling. It is recommended to purchase a blue spruce seedling from a nursery or specialized garden center. A seedling of blue spruce with a height of just over half a meter is considered optimal. Tall trees may not take root in new growing conditions.
- When purchasing a seedling of blue spruce, you should not try to choose an absolutely perfect tree and immediately reject options with a slightly twisted trunk: such a slight external flaw is not critical for a young spruce. As the blue spruce seedling develops and grows, the trunk will gradually level out, and the imperfect tree, with proper care, will turn into a slender, straight-stemmed beautiful spruce. When buying a blue spruce seedling, it is important to pay close attention to other external characteristics of the tree: rich color and dense needle structure.
- Blue spruce sapling purchased from a specialist center is always sold in a pot or container. Such a measure ensures the safety and quality of the root system of the plant and largely guarantees the future survival of the tree in a new place. In addition, buying blue spruce seedlings in a container makes it possible to plant trees from March to October.
Blue spruce planting rules
- How to plant a blue spruce seedling so that an important coniferous beauty adequately demonstrates all its decorative potential? Choose an open sunny area for it: a light-loving tree is able to form the correct crown shape only in a well-lit place. A cramped or shaded corner will cause the plant to not be able to boast of its classic graceful crown shape. The correct crown of a tree should resemble an even cone or pyramid in shape.
- Planting in rich black soil, characterized by excellent fertility, can result in increased tree growth. A seedling placed in conditions of excessive nutrition will grow up and spread out in breadth, losing all its famous decorative effect as a result of this growth. In general, when planting, blue spruce does not impose special requirements on the composition of the soil, it develops well in both sandy and loamy soils, however, fertile loamy soil with low acidity will be the best soil option.
- Preferred planting time is early spring. Spring planting gives the tree the opportunity to adapt and prepare for future wintering in a new place. There is a simple test to determine the readiness of the land for the spring planting of blue spruce. To do this, you can dig a small hole in the garden and determine if the soil has thawed. If so, it's time to start landing. Planting a blue spruce in the fall often threatens to turn into the death of a plant if the seedling did not have enough time and strength to take root in a new place before the onset of cold and frost. If it became necessary to plant blue spruce in the fall, it is preferable to choose the very beginning of the season for this purpose.
- Before planting blue spruce, peat, sand and humus are added to the planting hole. The pit for planting a blue spruce should be two to three times the size of an earthen clod. The plant is very sensitive to possible injuries to the root system, so you need to carefully carry out the procedure for planting blue spruce.
- When planting blue spruce, you need to carefully place the seedling in the hole without damaging the earthen ball, straighten the roots that can break out of the ball, and carefully fill the hole with soil.
- Do not forget about good drainage, laid on the bottom of the planting hole. To do this, a layer of tiles, broken bricks, crushed stone is laid on the bottom of the prepared hole. The importance of drainage is that it will prevent excessive wetting of the root system and prevent it from rotting, since blue spruces do not cope well with stagnant moisture.
- Don't plant the area too densely with blue spruces. Trees grow fast enough, and the best distance between them will be a distance of 2 - 3 meters.
- When planting, it is important to control that the root collar of the seedling does not go below the soil surface, and because of this the plant does not die.
- After planting blue spruce, the planting site should be compacted to prevent air from penetrating the roots of the plant - this measure will save the root system from premature drying out. Then the blue spruce should be watered abundantly.
- Immediately after planting the tree, it is recommended to mulch the circle around the trunk. Mulching will prevent the emergence of weeds and the drying of the soil over the roots of the seedling.
Care of blue spruce after planting
- Blue spruce seedling needs regular watering after planting. Yearling plants are recommended to be watered several times a day, using a small amount of water in each irrigation session. Since the root system of the plant is superficial, it is not able to absorb the entire volume of the poured liquid, which simply goes into the ground. An adult tree on hot days should be watered once a day, spending a bucket of water per plant. Watering is done in the evenings, and only warm water is used for irrigation. When caring for blue spruce, both spraying and sprinkling are practiced, which clean the branches and needles from dust and give the tree an additional decorative effect. Watering of trees is carried out exactly under the root, moisture on the needles is not allowed. Unnecessary moistening of the needles can provoke the appearance of sunburn on it, which will negatively affect the health of the tree and its appearance.
- If the tree is planted in good garden soil, blue spruce does not require additional feeding. Poor soil requires a small amount of mineral fertilizers, however, compositions with an impressive amount of nitrogenous substances are best avoided in the care of blue spruces. From organic fertilizers, fresh manure is categorically contraindicated. Top dressing is provided only in the first few years, otherwise the decorative compact plant threatens to turn into a huge and sprawling forest giant.
- When caring for blue spruce, weeding is not recommended, especially when it comes to young seedlings. You need to get rid of only large weeds that can strangle a small tree. Surrounding with weed grass will create the necessary microclimate near a small seedling, and grown spruce thickets of weeds are not terrible, but the site still should not be launched, at the risk of reducing its decorative effect.
- Pruning plays an important role in caring for blue spruce, and experts distinguish between sanitary and decorative pruning. At the beginning of spring, sanitary pruning is needed, which involves the removal of deformed, dead and dried shoots, and in summer - decorative pruning, which decides the issue of crown formation. During decorative pruning, healthy branches are removed. The crown is formed by summer pruning only in the first few years of the tree's life; an adult spruce copes with crown formation on its own. Both sanitary and decorative pruning help the tree grow healthy and beautiful. It is important that the tool used for the pruning procedure is well-sharpened and clean. Places of pruning branches must be treated with garden pitch.
- The care of blue spruce in autumn does not include the mandatory preparation of the tree for winter, since spruce is famous for its high frost resistance and tolerates harsh winters well. However, a young plant should be provided with a shelter that protects the spruce from snow drifts that can break off fragile shoots. Solving the issue of shelter, you can simply wrap the tree with covering material, tying it with twine or a soft hemp rope. With the first rays of the spring sun, the shelter can be removed, since the blue spruces are not afraid of the timid March sun, which excludes the possibility of sunburn on the tree.
- Blue spruces, like other conifers, are subject to infectious diseases and pests, so one of the important places in the care of blue spruces is the timely diagnosis of diseases and their prevention. Advanced agrotechnical practices and quality blue spruce care contribute to growing a healthy and beautiful tree.
Blue Spruces, grown by thoughtful and caring gardeners, look great both alone and in group plantings. The plant can be successfully used in the design of alpine slides, rockeries and in company with deciduous trees and flowers. They can be a unique center of the composition, and a discreet background, and a reliable hedge, with honor solving all the tasks assigned to them by demanding landscape designers.
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Why spruces are blue
- .What causes the color of the needles
- . Features and most popular types of blue spruce
- .Rules for the care of blue spruce
Blue spruces - slender beauties, a symbol of the states of Utah and Colorado. The natural habitat of these tall, mighty trees is the American continent, where spruce can be found throughout its entire length, from the Western part of the mainland to New Mexico. Why did the blue ones eat? The answer to this question is interesting to everyone who is at least a little familiar with the world of plants. Amazing bluish-silvery needles attract the eye, adapted to local growing conditions, these plants become a real highlight of any landscape design.
What determines the color of the needles
The blue color of the needles is due to the process of activation of the plant's antioxidant defense system. At this moment, the following are excreted:
• ascorbic acid;
• phenolic type compounds;
All these substances provide reliable protection to the plant in summer, making the color of its needles bright blue. In fact, this color is characteristic of a thin film that covers each needle from base to tip. If you try to scratch the needle, you will see that the color of the needles is the same as that of an ordinary spruce.
In autumn, all processes are greatly slowed down, including the photosynthesis of conifers, so in winter the color of plant needles is closer to the traditional green.
An interesting fact is that blue spruce needles contain a large amount of tannins that inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria.
Features and most popular types of blue spruce
In its natural habitat, blue spruce can live up to 800 years. How long trees of ornamental varieties live is not yet known, since they have been used for landscaping territories for no more than 100 years. In diameter, the trunk of the plant reaches 1.5 meters, it stretches up to 50 meters in height. On average, the height of a ten-year-old plant can be about 4 meters.
The color of spruce varies depending on the plant variety. It can be silver, gray-green, silver-blue. The most popular varieties of blue spruce are as follows:
• Bialobok or Bialobok. Charming prickly dwarf, bred by Polish breeders. In height, the plant reaches no more than 2 meters, the diameter of the trunk is up to 1 meter. The tree has a conical shape and a spectacular golden hue of needles.
• Blue Diamond or Blue Dlamant. Another name is Blue Diamond. The variety was bred at the end of the 20th century in America. These are plants with pale blue needles, grow very slowly, so an adult tree is quite expensive. With proper care for the year, spruce grows no more than 10 cm.
• Glauca Globosa or Glauca Globosa. A dwarf blue spruce with a rounded crown and bright blue needles. The maximum height of an adult plant is 3 meters.
• Push or Push. This is an elegant and funny Christmas tree, on the young shoots of which bright cones are formed. In height, the dwarf reaches no more than 1 meter.
• Edith or Edith. Coniferous semi-dwarf, no more than 8 meters high, having a cone-shaped crown and silver-blue needles.
Blue Spruce Care Instructions
To grow a real blue beauty on the site, you should follow a few basic rules of care:
• The plant practically does not need fertilizers, their excess can lead to excessive lignification of the bark and the Christmas tree will actively grow in breadth, and not up. An overfed plant will very quickly turn from an ornamental into a wild tree with needles far from a bluish color. It is forbidden to use fertilizers with a large amount of nitrogen as top dressing. It is best to choose preparations specially designed for conifers.
• In nature, blue spruces grow in wet floodplains, near lakes and ponds. The plant is very demanding on moisture, so overdrying of the root system leads to the death of the entire plant, and very quickly. On hot days, spruces need at least 10 liters of water daily. You may not need to pour the entire dose under the root, because it is best to spray the plant.
To form the correct crown, blue spruce should be pruned regularly, removing dry twigs or thinning out thickened areas. Only at the age of eight, the crown is already fully formed.
• Mature plants do not insulate or strengthen for the winter, but young seedlings need additional measures. In order not to break off the branches, you need to tie the tree with a rope or pull the net, slightly lifting the branches to the trunk.
• Proper application of Purshat-O will help to avoid yellowing of needles from spring sunburn. It is enough to spray the composition on the needles in autumn and early spring to prevent the yellowing of the needles and the gradual death of the branches. The easiest way is to cover young seedlings with a damp cotton cloth.