|*| Meet the Dogs of River Valley|Fall 2013 Plant Gallery |River Valley|

Featured Plant: Picea Orientalis 'Oriental Spruce'


Native Region: Caucuses, Northeast Turkey
Zone Range: 4
Preferred Climate: Temperate
Height: 25 to 45 feet
Spread: 15 to 25 feet

This spruce is a very attractive specimen, appropriate for almost any garden. It is a great substitute for Picea abies Norway Spruce, especially where space is limited, as Picea Orientalis has slower growth compared to a regular Norway. Oriental Spruce is more shade tolerant. It prefers full sun or partial shade. Plant in well-drained soil. It will also tolerate infertile, even rocky soils. Oriental Spruce should be used only where winters are not extremely dry. The plants should be located where they will not be exposed to harsh winter winds.

The glossy dark green needles are the shortest of any spruce species, densely arranged on the branches, giving them a tidy, almost manicured, appearance. The main branches arch upwards while the smaller branchlets tend to hang down in a curtain effect.

Best used as a specimen in protected landscapes, Oriental Spruce lends a graceful addition to any yard. Leave plenty of room for lateral branch growth near the base of the tree, as it looks odd when lower branches are removed. You should also watch for mite infestations during hot weather.

Cultivars: a short list.

'Skylands', is similar in growth habit but has rich, yellow needles year-round that contrast against the dark green interior. For best color, plant in full sun.

'Early Gold,' unlike 'Aureospicata,' this plant pushes yellow growth two weeks earlier. The needles remain a greenish yellow.

'Gowdy,' this cultivar sports short, glossy green needles that are held close to the stem. The sweeping branches give its distinctive appearance.

'Aureospicata,' this cultivar really shines in spring! New growth is ivory-yellow, maturing to dark green by early summer. Truly a dramatic specimen.






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