An elegant and underused spruce which has many fine qualities
that make it ideal for the modern landscape. Hailing from Caucasia
and Turkey, this tree is hardy to zone 4, unattractive to deer and
other pests, and grows at a moderate rate to 50 or 60’ tall.
Its width can be as much as 20 feet, but selections and cultivars
offer moderate size and vibrant color.
One of the most remarkable
conifers in the winter season is Picea orientalis ‘Skylands’,
a slow-growing, yellow-needled form named after the famed New Jersey
Botanical Garden known as “Skylands.” The yellow needles
glow year round but truly stand out in the winter months. Severe,
wind-whipped winters can cause the upper surface of the needles that
are exposed to full sun to burn a bit in the late winter, so site
it out of the winter winds.
The cultivar ‘Gowdy’ develops a particularly narrow form and can
be seen in the Secret Garden at Tower Hill. Look also for other dwarf cultivars
such as ‘Shadow’s Broom’, ‘Nana’, ‘Weeping
Dwarf’ (Pendula), and ‘Tom Thumb’.
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