Norway spruce is the most common coniferous plant in Russia. Nevertheless, it is a desirable tree in every garden, as it is associated with the New Year, it is quite unpretentious, long-lived and has many interesting varieties. Growing such a spruce in the garden will not be difficult, but for greater efficiency, you should know the rules for planting, caring for and combating diseases that can harm the tree.
In height, common spruce (or European) can reach 50 m, but on average it grows no higher than 35 m. For the first 10–15 years, it grows slowly, adding 50 cm per year, then rapid growth begins. The tree has a pyramidal wide crown. The needles of spruce are bright green or dark green in color with a characteristic odor. It stays on the tree for a maximum of 6-12 years. The average age of the common spruce in nature is 250–300 years. Harvest in cones ripens every three to four years.
- “Nidiformis” (Nidiformis) – a dwarf breed. The shrub grows up to 1.2 m high and 2.5 m wide. But it takes a long time to grow. The variety is frost-resistant, withstands temperatures down to minus 40 ° C.
- “Acrocona” (Acrocona) – has a columnar crown shape and arcuate hanging branches. Grows up to 3 m high and 3 m wide. Boasts large beautiful buds. Withstands severe frosts.
- “Inversa” (Inversa) – a tree with a narrow crown and falling branches that form a plume on the ground. It is also characterized by winter hardiness and slow growth.
- “Wills Zwerg” (Will’s Zwerg) is a short and slow growing plant. By the age of 30, it is gaining 2 m in height. It has a pin-shaped or conical crown. Frost resistant variety.
- “Little Gem” (Little Gem) – one of the smallest and slowest growing varieties of Norway spruce. After 50 cm, its growth stops. Withstands frosts down to minus 35°C.
Spruce can be planted with seeds, cuttings and seedlings. The last option is the fastest and easiest. It is necessary to carefully choose a landing site, taking into account what the tree will be like in 10 or more years. Spruces with a closed root system are best planted from mid-April to October, with an open one – until mid-April or in the second half of September – early November. The tree does not tolerate transplanting well. Young spruces in the first days of winter can get sunburn, so they need to be protected.
It is necessary to plant a tree in a bright area, but where direct sunlight is minimal. It is best to choose a place with light partial shade.
As for the soil, the common spruce feels better in moderately moist, well-drained and fairly fertile soils. The most suitable option is slightly acidic rich loams. But some varieties need slightly alkaline soil. In general, the tree grows on any soil, on the poor, when planting in pits, clay and humus are added in the same ratio, writes “TVNZ”.
Basic knowledge for gardeners is quite enough for common spruce to grow well and be healthy. When planting, all varieties need good watering, especially in the first year. Young trees should be watered once a week at the rate of 10-12 liters of water per seedling up to 1.5 m high. To preserve moisture in the near-stem zone, you can add mulch from a thick layer of bark or sawdust. After a year or two, most varieties of common spruce do not need watering, but on hot days it is better to take care of moisture.
In order for a young spruce to winter well, in October, under any weather conditions, at least 20–30 liters of water should be poured under each tree on small plants and 50 liters per meter of crown height.
When planting, phosphorus-potassium fertilizers and stale sawdust of conifers are used. In fertile soils, the first three years, common spruce does not need to be fed. In the future, special fertilizers are applied.
Diseases and pests
Norway spruce can suffer from rust (spruce spinner) and shute. These are fungal diseases. It is necessary to remove the affected areas and process them.
Spruce spider mites, spruce sawflies, spruce needle beetles, spruce false shields are found among spruce pests. It is necessary to carry out both preventive measures and spraying with special preparations upon infection.
Previously, “Profile” talked about the features of growing another spruce species. This is a dwarf plant that is popular with gardeners.