Alberta Spruce Trees
Are Alberta Spruce Trees incompatible with other species of trees? What problems are associated with growing this particular tree in Colorado. Thank you.
You're referring to Picea glauca 'Conica' the Dwarf Alberta Spruce, right? The only thing I would watch for with this type of tree, as well as other dwarf types is that they're easily overwhelmed by faster growing types of evergreens. Grow them with other slow growing dwarf types in a rockery or other area where they won't have to compete for light or nutrients. These little trees although long lived and hardy, only grow to an ultimate height of about 15', and they will lose their needles if too shaded - a bad thing, as these will never be replaced, and the tree will be bald on one side.
For problems growing these in your area, I would check and see what your plant hardiness zone is. These little trees do best in an area that is not prone to extreme high winds that can dry out and desiccate the needles. Given some protection in the form of a living windbreak, they will survive quite cold temperatures, although they resent reflected light such as from a wall or pale colored siding on your house.
Other than that, watch for the spruce adelgid, an aphid that forms odd cone like growths to form on the ends of branches, and the newest pest to hit the forest, the Spruce Budworm, which is actually a small moth. There are also beetles that burrow into the bark, laying eggs that hatch into very destructive larvae. These pests can defoliate spruce and other evergreen trees in the matter of a few months.
Hope this helps with successfully growing one of my favorite little trees.
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