growth of bakeri spruce

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by giovanna, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. giovanna

    giovanna Member

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    I just bought a dwarf bakeri spruce for a new garden area. It's a beauty. I bought it for it's blueness and 'dwarf' quality. It is about 4' tall at this point I guess I didn't realize how big 12' at maturity was until I put the tree into context, and I now fear it will overshadow all the low growing plants it was meant to set off. It will reach the eaves of our building. The original soil is mostly sand and some gravel, an old drive through on the river that we've converted to garden by adding soil every year. There is now about six inches of good soil over top. Our climate is temperate coastal (Pacific NW). I'm told spruce don't really grow that well in our conditions. Is that correct? So maybe it won't reach its 12' potential? I know it's strange to be asking how to stunt a tree...is there a better candidate out there? Blue to maybe 6 feet or so?
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    The feature of Picea pungens 'Bakeri' is its long and blue needles. It is not a dwarf. The 12 ft. figure you saw somewhere might have been intended as a representative possible 10 year height. At 20 years it might be 15 or 20 ft. tall. And so on.

    Colorado spruce (and most other spruce) in lowland portions of this region are prone to insect and mite damage. I suspect nurseries in Willamette Valley growing large quantities of Colorado spruce use routine pesticide applications to produce "clean" and attractive stock.
     
  3. giovanna

    giovanna Member

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    Yes, I spoke with a nursery person today and they said the same thing, because the ones I saw there had tags that said they grew to 20 or 30 feet. However, they looked different than mine, which is very blue and the needles are short and densely packed.. The growth is quite dense. I went on the internet to make sure and there are discussions about dwarf bakeri that grow to only 12 feet. This is a bit confusing.
     
  4. giovanna

    giovanna Member

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    Ron,

    I just spoke to the folks who sold it to me as a dwarf and they now say, you're right of course, that it will continue to grow to quite a height. Thanks for your input.
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    You have to watch for size potential of garden plants being downplayed, vendors are afraid of scaring people off. Genuinely dwarf trees and shrubs are time-consuming and therefore comparatively expensive to produce, with prices for them reflecting that. Only tiny specimens are available at the prices many are willing to pay, this combined with the desire by growers to maximize income by finishing and selling crops as quickly and frequently as possible probably does much to result in large- and vigorous-growing selections continuing to be prevalent.

    http://www.coenosium.com/text800/piceapungens.htm
     

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