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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Picea omorika - Serbian Spruce

The Serbian Spruce is a beautiful evergreen conifer with a very narrow conical growth habit with the potential to be 50-60'. Like many spruce trees it will maintain its lower branches until someone cuts them off to mow around the base. The lateral branches near the top of the tree are more ascending with weakly pendant side shoots. May have a nice bluish cast.  They look great in a grove like this see at Whistler Mt. in BC. I have seen only one here in the county but I am sure there are others.



As with all spruce trees, the leaves are linear and are attached to the stem by a stub like projection called a pulvinus. However, unlike most spruces, these  1/2 - 3/4" long leaves are flattened in cross section (most spruce leaves are easily rolled between your fingers). The tree as an overall bluish cast due to the lower surface of the leaves being very blue while the upper is greenish.



Shoots are orange brown with dark hairs as seen above.

Cones prevalent on young plants. Purple when young maturing purple-brown and usually resinous. 1.5-3" long.



One of my favorite cultivars 'Burns Pendula'.


Misidentification:
Spruce trees in general can be difficult to distinguish from one another. This is one of a few that have flatted leaves, meaning you cant roll them between your fingers.

Location:
Aptos
49 Pebble Beach Dr.
661 Pleasant Valley Ridge, all the way up and on your left. Looks like a private driveway, so be warned.

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