Dwarf Alberta Spruce Trees

Growing Tips

Image: pair of dwarf Alberta spruce.
Dwarf Alberta spruces are commonly grown in pairs. David Beaulieu

Plant Taxonomy of Dwarf Alberta Spruce Trees:

Plant taxonomy classifies dwarf Alberta spruce trees as Picea glauca. 'Conica' is the cultivar I'll be considering.

Plant Type:

Dwarf Alberta spruce trees are classified as evergreen conifers.

USDA Plant Hardiness Zones for Dwarf Alberta Spruce Trees:

Dwarf Alberta spruce trees can be grown in zones 3-8.

Characteristics:

Dwarf Alberta spruce trees may eventually reach 12 feet in height, but only over a long period of time (growing just 2-4 inches per year).

They have a classic "Christmas tree" shape. The green needles have a tight, densely-packed growth habit that gives dwarf Alberta spruce trees a "fuzzy" look.

Plant Care:

Dwarf Alberta spruce trees require very little care, although they are, unfortunately, sometimes the victims of spider mite attacks. Their slow growth rate means they hardly ever have to be pruned. Please see my FAQ on needle drop if you should experience that problem.

Sun and Soil Requirements for Dwarf Alberta Spruce Trees:

Dwarf Alberta spruce trees prefer full sun and a well-drained, acidic soil.

Dwarf Alberta Spruce Trees in Landscape Design:

Dwarf Alberta spruce trees are used as specimens in landscape design.

Landscaping Uses, Warning:

Dwarf Alberta spruce trees are one of the most recognizable specimens in North American landscaping. You'll often see them used in pairs to flank the entryway to a house for a formal look that strives for balance.

Because dwarf Alberta spruce trees will remain relatively small for a number of years, people sometimes treat them (at least initially) as container plants.

Be aware, however, that these specimens can eventually outgrow a small space. The plant selection process should typically consider a plant's mature size.

Don't forget to take into account that you will need sufficient elbow room with which to maintain the outside of your home. You don't want a plant in the way when you're painting, staining, etc.

So to save yourself trouble down the road, you may not want to locate this plant in a spot that cannot comfortably accommodate what may eventually become a 12-foot tree. Select an alternative plant, instead, or locate this specimen in a place that will be more suitable long-term. Remember, it may be difficult to transplant a mature tree.