Introducing a new spruce....

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by Julietta, Jul 2, 2004.

  1. Julietta

    Julietta Member

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    Location:
    Seattle
    I live in the Pacific Northwest. Our neighborhood has several Colorado blue spruces that are doing beautifully, including one in my yard. I am considering putting in a new blue spruce. Is it possible that the new tree could bring in an aphid problem to the neighborhood? We haven't experienced the usual problems with aphid induced needle loss.

    Also, the tree I am considering is labelled as Picea Pungens Holiday (Backeri Holiday). I haven't been able to find any info on this cultivar. Anyone know if this is truly a dwarf variety? Any info would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Metro Vancouver, BC, Canada.
    Aphids are out there already, no need to try to ferry them in on new Spruces . :) as for info on the variety, I checked my copy of Dirr's and it says :
    "Picea pungens 'Bakeri' - Deeper blue than the foliage of 'Argentea' and possibly better than 'Moorheimii', after 32 years a specimen in the Arnold Arboretum was only 12' tall and 6' across."
     
  3. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Hi Julietta:

    < Also, the tree I am considering is labelled as Picea
    Pungens Holiday (Backeri Holiday). >

    If you do not mind can you post a readable image of the
    actual label on the plant into this forum? I would very
    much like to know where the plant originally came from.
    If not, can you cite all that is written on the label. If it
    is just a standard label on the plant with no explanation
    of the Spruce other than the name, then do not worry
    about posting an image of the label but I think a few of
    us would like to see what this tree looks like.

    I do not know this form of Baker's Blue Spruce but I
    do know of Picea pungens 'Bacheri' and Picea pungens
    'Glauca Bacheri' that are being grown in Oregon. I also
    know of a Picea pungens 'Backeri' form that is being
    attributed as originating from a wholesale nursery that
    I know well enough. I'll explain more later after I know
    more of the tree in question and the contents of the label.

    Thanks for your help,

    Jim
     
  4. Julietta

    Julietta Member

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    Pics

    Attached are pictures of the label and the mystery tree . Hope this helps.

    Julietta
     

    Attached Files:

  5. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Hi Julietta:

    Thank you for showing me the label and a pic of that
    very nice tree.

    I've had 3 Baker's Spruce over the years, still have 2 of them.
    The first one was planted in an ex-flames yard 14 years ago.
    I like Baker's Spruce quite a bit. The tree is a semi-dwarf as
    far as Colorado Blue Spruce go. The tree generally gets to
    about 12-15' maximum in height and about 7-8' wide in time
    depending on how many growth cycles you get in a year and
    how much sun the tree will get. Remember with Baker's
    Spruce, taller in full sun, wider in shade. Here, ours can get
    taller faster than most areas will due to our length of growing
    season. I saw 6 Baker's Spruce yesterday in 5 and 15 gallon
    containers in a local nursery and the example you showed
    seems to be a little lighter blue in color than the ones I saw
    and it is lighter in color than mine here.

    I do not know this 'Holiday' form and after going through some
    wholesale nurseries online where I suspected this plant may have
    originated from I have come up empty. So, thanks to you I have
    learned of another form of Bakeri.

    As long as you get some cold chill to kill the Aphids where
    you are, I do not know what you are waiting on. I would buy
    that plant in a heartbeat! I think if you have interest in owning
    another Blue Spruce that plant would make a real nice one to
    have.

    Good luck to you.

    Jim
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Introducing a new spruce

    A Colorado spruce in Seattle is likely to develop a sparse interior, due to pest infestations. They also tend to have an algal growth that dulls the coloring of the needles after their first year. You are not going to see the spectacular brightness and density of specimens east of the Cascades. This is more-or-less true of most other glaucous conifers sold for planting in this area, including popular cultivars of Abies concolor, Cupressus glabra and Juniperus scopulorum. You may be happier with bluish/silvery foliage from a broadleaf evergreen instead, such as Eucalyptus glaucescens or Quercus hypoleucoides.
     
  7. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Glaucous conifers in PNW

    Mostly directed at Ron...your comment was that bluish conifers on the wet coast will not look their best. I've been looking around, and certainly haven't seen many great blue spruces.

    I do see quite a few blue atlas cedars, tho many seem nicer as young trees and become more sparse and gangly, a few others do seem to maintain their full, rather pendulous and very blue-grey colour to a large size.

    Any comment on these trees, I realize there seem to be quite a few varieties...would they be one of the better conifers if we're looking for a nice grey/blue-grey specimen in our climate?

    Glen
    Surrey, BC, Canada
     

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