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Engelman's spruce: description, planting and care, application in landscape design

Engelman's spruce: description, planting and care, application in landscape design

Engelman's spruce is an attractive ornamental crop characterized by an attractive conical crown and silver-green needles. This plant is often used in landscape design and helps to achieve a truly fabulous atmosphere on the site. There are several types of this plant, which differ in size and shape of the crown. There is also some difference in the color of the needles.

Variety information

According to the description, Engelman's spruce is an evergreen crop from the Pine family. The plant was named after the German naturalist Theodor Engelmann. It is highly decorative and is often used in landscape design.

In appearance, the tree resembles prickly spruce, but has a narrower and elongated silhouette. In addition, the plant is characterized by soft needles and small cones. The main features of the Engelman spruce include the following:

  1. The height of the tree is 15-20 meters. There are also tall plants that reach 50 meters.
  2. The crown has a pyramidal shape and has a diameter of 4.5-6 meters. The plant has drooping branches. This gives it an unusual weeping look. The crown is usually symmetrical.
  3. Culture has soft and flexible needles. It is characterized by straight needles. However, sometimes they differ in crescent shape. The length of the needles is rarely more than 3 centimeters. Its color is different - silver-green, gray-green, blue. Young shoots have a lighter shade that contrasts with the old needles.
  4. Cones are cylindrical and small. Their length is 4-7 centimeters. At the initial stage of ripening, the cones are purple in color, and then they turn brown with a yellowish tinge.
  5. The life expectancy of a plant is 500 years.

Engelman spruce is considered a photophilous plant. When planted in the shade, the needles darken and lose their luster. The tree normally perceives frosts and calmly withstands temperatures as low as -40 degrees.

Known varieties

Spruce Engelman is considered a very common culture. Many gardeners use the plant to decorate their own plots, creating a hedge. Some summer residents plant several plants at once, which will help provide shade. It should be borne in mind that this culture has several varieties, each of which has certain characteristics:

  1. Glauca is a tall ornamental tree that can reach 15 meters. The culture has a cone-shaped crown with a diameter of 4 meters and short needles measuring 2 centimeters.It has a rich blue color. The cones are cylindrical in shape and 5 centimeters in size. When ripe, the fruits are distinguished by a rich brown color.
  2. Bush’s Lace - this variety is characterized by a weeping crown of a pyramidal shape. By the age of 10, the spruce reaches a height of 4 meters. In this case, the diameter of the crown does not exceed 1 meter. The needles of the plant have a rich blue color and do not exceed 2 centimeters in length. During the flowering period, cones 3 centimeters in size are formed on the plant. They are bright brown in color.
  3. Pendula - this variety has a narrow conical crown. By the age of 25, the tree grows up to 12 meters. In this case, the diameter of the plant is 3 meters. In a year, the culture grows by a maximum of 25 centimeters. Its distinctive feature is gray-blue needles. This variety is highly resistant to frost. It can withstand temperatures as low as -42 degrees.
  4. Snake - this plant has a sparse pyramidal crown.At the same time, the height of the tree does not exceed 14 meters, and its diameter is 2.5 meters. In a year, the culture grows by 26 centimeters. The needles have a light blue color and a fairly large length. Cones are distinguished by a pleasant light brown hue and a maximum length of 1.5 centimeters. Variety Snake is often used in landscape design as a tapeworm. In order for the cultivation of the crop to be successful, the soil must be constantly loosened and moistened.
  5. Hesse - This culture is characterized by slow growth. In its entire life, the tree grows up to a maximum of 13 meters. At the same time, the annual growth is only 7 centimeters. The needles of the plant are characterized by a silver-blue color. Moreover, its length does not exceed 2 centimeters. The crown has a conical shape and reaches a diameter of 1.5 meters. In order for the cultivation of such spruce to be successful, it must be watered frequently. This is required to be done every week. At the same time, at least 15 liters of water should be spent on 1 plant. Equally important is the irrigation of the crown. This procedure helps to clean it from dust and parasites.


Glauk Engelman's spruce is native to the Rocky Mountains in North America. Also, under natural conditions, the culture grows in British Columbia, a Canadian province. Trees form groups and are concentrated along rivers and on mountain slopes. At the same time, plants prefer shady places.

As trees grow, they can rise to a height of 3.5 thousand meters above sea level. Such conifers feel great with related species - fir, pine, individual varieties of larch. As a result, mixed or coniferous forests are formed.


In order for the root system of the plant not to dry out, it is worth giving preference to seedlings with closed roots. It is important to ensure that the branches of the plant are elastic, and the needles are fresh. Of great importance is the presence of growth in the current year.When buying, you should make sure that there are no stains or damage on the barrel.

You also need to take into account the varietal characteristics of each species. For example, Blue Softy spruce is characterized by soft silvery needles and a pyramidal crown.

Where to plant

Spruce grows well in sunny and shady areas. However, in the first case, the needles have a brighter and more saturated color. The best option would be a small penumbra. When planting a tall variety, it is important to provide it with enough free space - at least 10-15 meters from other trees. When planting dwarf crops, such as the Engelman Hobo spruce, these requirements may not be met.

When choosing soil, preference should be given to moderately moist soil with a neutral reaction. However, in general, the Engelman spruce is considered not too picky.

How to plant

When planting the Pendula variety and other varieties of Engelman spruce, certain rules must be observed.First you need to prepare a recess. It should be 1.5-2 times higher than the lump of soil. In dense soil, it is worthwhile to provide a drainage layer of crushed brick and sand. Therefore, the size of the recess must be made at least 70-80 centimeters.

Garden soil extracted from the recess must be mixed in equal parts with turf and peat and sand added to the composition. If necessary, use complex fertilizers for conifers. In this case, often the seedling in the container is already supplied with nutrients that provide a prolonged effect.

After this, the plant must be placed in a recess for planting, watered and sprinkled with the first layer of soil. After that, the soil should be well tamped and watered again to ensure better adhesion to the roots.

After the ground settles, soil can be added to the composition. It is important to ensure that the root neck remains flush with the soil surface. In conclusion, the trunk circle needs to be covered with a mulch layer. It should consist of sawdust, needles or peat.

Features of care

Engelman spruce is a fairly unpretentious culture, so even novice gardeners can take care of it. In addition to the basic procedures, young seedlings need to be shaded a little. This is especially true in late February and early spring.


With regular rainfall, mature trees can not be watered. In this case, young plants should be moistened as necessary, taking into account the condition of the soil. During the dry season, moisten the soil 2-3 times a week. It is also useful to sprinkle the crown in the evenings.

The volume of water depends on the age of the crop. Usually, 12 liters of water should be used per 1 meter of growth. At the same time, it is important to evenly distribute moisture over the area of the near-stem circle.


It is recommended to fertilize spruce in early spring. In this case, you need to use special substances for coniferous crops.In general, a single application of mineral preparations during the season is enough for a tree. Additionally, it is permissible to use peat or compost. These substances must be applied to the near-stem circle.


The root system of spruce is characterized by a superficial location. Therefore, when loosening and weeding, you should not go deeper than 7 centimeters. When growing this plant, it is useful to mulch the trunk circle. This helps to reduce moisture evaporation and stop weed growth. It is permissible to use dry leaves, peat, sawdust as mulch.


Sanitary pruning should be done in the first half of spring. In this case, it is required to get rid of dry branches and affected shoots. The crown itself needs to be thinned out a little. The formation of the crown can not be engaged, however, with a dense arrangement of shoots, such a procedure is still needed.

Preparing for cold weather

Spruce of this variety is characterized by a high degree of resistance to frost. Therefore, the culture can not be insulated for the winter. It is recommended to cover young seedlings with spruce branches so that the snow does not cause crown deformation. It is permissible to pour peat crumbs into the trunk circle for insulation.

How to propagate

Spruce can be propagated in different ways:

  1. Seeds - for this, in April, the grains need to be soaked, then treated with potassium permanganate and planted in nutrient soil. Equally important is the mulching of the topsoil. After planting, the seed container must be placed in a greenhouse and regularly moisten the soil. Fertilization and ventilation are also important.
  2. Cuttings - in this case, in April, shoots of 15 centimeters in size are required from the mother culture. This must be done with the heel. After that, it is recommended to install the shoots for several days in a nutrient solution with the addition of a growth stimulator and transfer them to the soil composition from the ground and peat.It is required to keep the material in a greenhouse.
  3. Vaccination - this method is rarely used. At the same time, the prepared cutting needs to be grafted onto conifers that grow in the desired region. The procedure is carried out in April or June.

Tree diseases and their control

The main pathologies of culture include the following:

  1. Schütte - accompanied by browning of the crown in the spring season. At the same time, a cluster of fungal spores form at the bottom of the needles.
  2. Snow shute - while the needles turn brown in autumn. With the advent of spring, a white coating forms on the needles.
  3. Fusariosis - mainly affects young plants. In this case, the needles become brown in color and crumble.

To cope with pathologies, spruce must be treated with fungicidal preparations. Most often, such funds are deposited at the root.

To avoid the development of pathologies, you need to do the following:

  • plant a spruce in a sunny area;
  • carefully choose seedlings;
  • treat roots with fungicides when planting;
  • carry out sanitary pruning on time;
  • use copper preparations in the spring.


This plant looks great in single and group plantings with coniferous and deciduous crops. It can be combined with thuja, juniper, yew, cypress, pine. Low varieties will be a great addition to the rock garden. They can be used to fence flower beds and create bonsai compositions.

Engelman spruce is an attractive ornamental culture that fits into a variety of compositions. To get a he althy and beautiful tree, you need to properly care for it.

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