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Colorado spruce (gray, blue)

Colorado spruce (gray, blue)

Colorado spruce (Latin Picea pungens) is an evergreen coniferous tree of the Pine family. Naturally grows in mountain valleys along rivers and streams in North America. It grows up to 25-30 meters in height, the trunk diameter reaches 1.5 meters. The color of the needles varies from gray-green to bright blue, the length of the needles is 2-3 cm. Young cones are reddish, mature ones are light brown, 5-10 cm long.

Colorado spruce is a long-lived tree with a life expectancy of 400 to 600 years. This beautiful coniferous coniferous tree is a symbol of the states of Utah and Colorado.

Types of spruce barbed

Colorado spruce (Picea pungens f. Glauca) - this is the name of wild spruce seedlings or seedlings grown under cultivated conditions, but not selected. The needles of these trees have a more or less bluish tint. The varietal spruce is called Glauca.

Gray prickly spruce (Picea pungens Glauca) - other names for this varietal spruce: Glauca, Glauka, Silver. The needles of trees retain a bluish-green color throughout the year, the needles are covered with a waxy bloom, which gives them a bluish-gray color. The length of the needles is 2-3 cm, the cones are light brown, 6-10 cm long. Mature trees reach 20 m in height, the crown diameter is 6-8 m. The crown is symmetrical, conical. The annual growth is 30-40 cm in height, 10-15 cm in width. It is smoke-resistant in urban conditions, frost-resistant, drought-resistant.

Spruce Glauka Globoza (Picea pungens Glauca globosa) is a dwarf form of prickly spruce, also referred to as Sizaya Globose. The height of an adult tree is up to 1 m, diameter is up to 1.5 m. The crown, uneven and loose in young plants, becomes denser as it grows. The needles are dense, about 1 cm long, white and blue. This type of spruce is recommended for planting in rocky gardens, in groups or singly on a lawn in a park, near houses.

Silver spruce Argentea (Picea pungens Argentea) is a straight-stemmed tree reaching a height of 30-40 m with a conical crown. Young needles have a pale green color with a whitish tint, the waxy coating of older needles becomes silvery-white. This spruce is widely used in landscaping parks, squares, and is planted near administrative buildings. Drought-resistant, winter-hardy and resistant to air pollution.

Blue spruce Oldenburg (Picea pungens Oldenburg) - a variety bred in Germany. An adult tree reaches a height of 10-15 m, sometimes 20 m, with a crown diameter of 5-7 m. Annual growth is 30-35 cm in height and 15 cm in width. The crown is conical. The needles are tough, prickly, blue. Frost-resistant, light-requiring, prefers chernozems and loams without excessive moisture. It is used in single and group plantings.

Purchase of seedlings. When choosing seedlings, you should pay attention to the condition of the root system. The roots should be in an earthen coma, in no case open. The spruce variety must be adapted to the climate of the planting site.

Location and landing. When choosing a place for planting, take into account the fact that the spruce does not tolerate neighbors, and the shadow from wide branches can slow down the development of other plants.

Planting is usually done in spring, late April, or in autumn from early September. Spruce prefers loamy and sandy loam soils.

For group planting, the distance between the spruces should be 2-3 meters, the depth of the planting pits should be 50-70 cm. The spruce does not like close groundwater, therefore it is recommended to pour a drainage layer (15-20 cm) of broken red brick and sand in the planting pit. When planting, the pit is filled with a soil substrate of turf, leafy soil, peat and sand in a ratio of 2: 2: 1: 1. For better plant development, 100 g of nitroammofoska is sometimes added to the soil substrate.

During planting, it is necessary to ensure that the root collar is at the soil level. After planting, a hole is made, watered, the planting circle (the surface around the trunk) is mulched with peat with a layer of 5-7 cm. Subsequently, when loosening, the peat is mixed with the ground.

Colorado spruce - Care from spring to autumn

Watering. Only plantings of young spruces need watering. In a dry summer, 1 bucket of water is poured under each tree once a week. It is also recommended to occasionally spray the crowns.

Top dressing. The spruce does not need constant feeding. When planting, 100 g of nitroammofoska or kemira-wagon can be added to the trunk circle.

Trimming and shaping. Spruce does not need pruning, the crown is beautifully formed in a natural way. Sick, broken and dry branches must be removed regularly.

Reproduction and grafting. Spruce is propagated in several ways: seed, cuttings and grafting. The seed method is not suitable for selected spruce trees, because when grown from seed, many of them lose their varietal properties.

Diseases and pests. The main pests of thorny spruce are spruce-fir (spruce-larch) hermes and shute.

  • Hermes is an aphid that forms colonies that look like white cotton on the underside of needles. Appears in early spring. Pests are located on the bark near the kidneys (founding females) and on the needles (larvae). They feed on tree sap and cause yellowing and falling of needles, curvature and death of shoots. Method of struggle: in April, double spraying with karbofos, SP (100 g / kg) 90 g / 10 l of water.
  • Schütte is a fungal disease that can appear after snow melts. A grayish mycelium forms on the needles, which disappears over time. The needles turn brown and fall off. Method of struggle: in spring and in July-September spraying with colloidal sulfur (200 g per 10 liters of water).

Colorado spruce in winter. Adults ate hardy enough and do not need protection. And young plantings, especially decorative forms for winter, should be covered with spruce branches, craft paper or other covering material. It is also recommended to mulch the soil with peat (i.e. sprinkle a layer of peat) in the near-stem circles in the first 2-3 years after planting.

PHOTO prickly spruce

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