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Gray spruce: description, planting and care, application in landscape design

Gray spruce: description, planting and care, application in landscape design

Gray spruce is an attractive ornamental crop that belongs to the Pine family. This plant is often used in landscape design for the design of parks and suburban areas. In order for the culture to retain its decorative properties for as long as possible, it must be properly planted. Compliance with agrotechnical recommendations during cultivation is of no small importance.

What kind of tree is this

According to the description, the gray spruce is a beautiful culture 15-50 meters in size. The specific height depends on the plant variety. The diameter of the trunk is usually no more than 1 meter.The crown of the plant is formed in the form of a wide cone. At the same time, compactness is achieved due to thick and dense branches. From them it is possible to find out the relative age of the culture. The branches of a young spruce are directed upwards, while those of an old tree tend to the ground.

The bark of the tree has a gray or brown color. At the same time, protruding sheet pillows are clearly visible on it. Young branches usually have a gray-yellow color, and sometimes have a whitish tint. By the year, the shoots become straw.

The buds are brown-orange and ovoid in shape. In length, they reach 6 millimeters and have a beveled top. Separately, you should pay attention to the needles of the plant. Needles are characterized by the following features:

  • length is 1-3cm and width is 5mm;
  • have a square section and bend a little in the middle;
  • distinguished by a bluish color that can vary from dark to light;
  • has fragrant pine needles, which, when rubbed in the fingers, emits the smell of black currant;
  • remains on the tree for 4-7 years.

Flowering culture begins in late spring. This variety is considered one of the most precocious. The first female fruits are formed already at 7-10 years of age. At the same time, a large number of young cones of small sizes appear. They are green or purple in color. In length, such specimens reach 8 centimeters, and in diameter - 2-3.

As they mature, the buds grow, acquire a characteristic brown hue and become cylindrical in shape. At the same time, they are characterized by ocher rounded scales, which are quite soft to the touch. Male anthers are distinguished by a yellow or red tint.

Popular varieties

Today there are quite a few varieties of gray spruce, each of which has certain characteristics.

Canadian Spruce Echiniformis

This is a dwarf variety that doesn't grow too fast. El Echiniformis was artificially bred in France. By the age of 30, the height of the plant is no more than 50 centimeters. In this case, the diameter of the crown reaches only 1 meter. Spruce of this variety is characterized by rather thin green needles with bluish notes. The plant is considered quite photophilous. It is recommended to grow it in slightly acidic soil and water it often enough. Culture is great for decorating rocky slides.

Alberta Plant

This plant is considered a typical member of the Albertiana group. It was grown in 1967 in the Netherlands.The Alberta Globe Spruce is a miniature plant that grows up to 24 centimeters per year. At 10 years old, spruce does not exceed 25 centimeters in diameter. It is characterized by a dense and even crown of a rounded shape. The plant has light green needles measuring 6-9 millimeters.

Glauka Konik Gray Spruce

This is a dwarf variety that was bred in 1904 in Canada. This plant belongs to the Albertiana group. By the age of 30, Konika grows up to 2 meters in height. At the same time, the width of its crown is 1.2 meters. The plant is characterized by a regular pyramidal crown. It is quite dense and even. The culture has thin radial needles of a bright green color. In the spring, she often gets severe burns.

Pendula plant

This plant originated in the forests of Serbia.It is characterized by slow growth and a narrow, drooping crown. In 1 year, the plant grows by 10 centimeters. By the age of 30, the culture reaches a height of 10 meters. This culture is characterized by dark green needles and flexible young shoots. The tree is frost resistant. At the same time, it perfectly withstands hot weather.

Pendula spruce develops well in all types of soil. It easily withstands exposure to smoke and air pollution. In addition, the culture rarely suffers from pest attacks and the development of pathologies. Most often, Pendula is used to create landscape compositions.

Planting and care

All varieties of gray spruce often suffer from winter and spring burns. Therefore, they definitely need to be shaded. At the same time, artificial shading does not always give the desired effect. It is also worth considering that planting in partial shade leads to the fact that the needles of plants lose their decorative effect.

Therefore, when planting, it is recommended to take into account the following features of gray fir trees:

  1. Proneness of needles to burn. It is important to find a place where the influence of the bright sun will be minimal.
  2. Medium resistance of many varieties to frost. Therefore, the site must be protected from the cold north wind.
  3. Superficial root system. In dry areas, plants need to be watered regularly.

After choosing a landing site, you need to prepare a recess. It is important that the diameter of the pit is 10 centimeters larger than the earthen ball of the plant. At the same time, it is recommended to make a little more hole in depth. When planting a plant in heavy soil, it is required to organize a drainage layer, and in light soil, add clay.

Planting spruce with closed roots is allowed throughout the warm period - from April to October. After planting, the culture must be well watered and sprinkled with earth.From above, the trunk circle needs to be mulched. For this, it is permissible to use bark or coniferous sawdust. The thickness of the mulch should be 5-7 centimeters.

When planting spruce in the spring, on the south side of the seedling, it is required to install supports with a stretched agro grid. This will help protect the young tree from the scorching sun. When planting a crop in late autumn, it is necessary to install supports in order to place protective screens with the onset of cold weather. It is recommended to cover the plant from the sun for 3-4 years after planting.

When growing gray spruce, it is important to consider that it hardly tolerates drought. Therefore, in the heat, the culture is recommended to be watered every week. For high-quality soil moisture, you need to use at least 10 liters of water per 1 tree.

In spring and summer, the plant needs to be fed. For this, it is permissible to use compost and biohumus. It is also permissible to use potassium and phosphorus substances. At the same time, it is strictly forbidden to feed gray spruce with nitrogen products.


Gray spruce has excellent decorative properties. Therefore, its plantings are used to decorate and landscaping parks and squares. Also, summer cottages are often decorated with a plant. Spruce is excellent for forming natural windbreaks. It can also be used to create shrub ensembles.

The gray spruce is an attractive coniferous plant that is often used in landscape design. In order for the cultivation of a crop to be successful, it is important to provide it with full and high-quality care.

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