One of the most perfectly shaped coniferous trees is the Dwarf Alberta Spruce, the scientific name of which is Picea glauca var. albertiana 'Conica'. It is an evergreen tree, but since it does not grow too big, it is considered a shrub by many. It has a pyramidal shape with soft needles. These needles are short and fine. It is a hardy tree to be grown in cold zones. You do not need to take extra precautions to protect it from hot or cold winds.
There are about 30 species of the white spruce tree and it is widely found in Northern American, Canadian and Alaskan gardens. Of the 30 species of spruce trees, the Dwarf Alberta is the most popular and is a favorite ornamental plant. It has immense popularity as a Christmas tree for many families.
It can be grown in USDA zones 2 to 6. This means the tree can tolerate temperatures as low as -40º F. Its height is about 12'. This is because it is a slow-growing tree and grows only about 2 to 4 inches annually. The densely packed needles give it the 'fuzzy' look that is much adored by all.
The amount of care required by this tree is minimal. It rarely requires pruning. The tree grows well in well-drained soil, under full sun, and in acidic soil. It cannot tolerate drought and therefore requires regular watering. You should water it regularly during the growth season. This will help the plant develop a deep and extensive root system. Once the plant is established, reduce the watering. You need to feed the plant with a general purpose fertilizer in spring. If required, prune in winter.
Many people prefer growing this conifer for container gardening. This is because the tree is a slow grower. You can grow it in a container and transplant it to garden soil in spring. The best place to plant it is in an area that receives full sunlight. If you are growing it indoors, then place the container near a window or door. Do not place the container near an artificial heat source like a radiator or generator.
The tree is not prone to many diseases, but may fall prey to aphids in late fall. If you find it turning brown, it means the plant is infected with aphids. You need to spray insecticide over your tree to get rid of them as soon as possible, or else the bugs will cause a lot of damage and can even lead to death of the tree.
Apart from aphids, this tree can get infested by spider mites. Turning brown or premature leaf shedding may indicate spider mite infestation. These mites appear as whitish webbings around the twigs. You need to immediately remove the diseased branches and spray an insecticide over them.
Many American homes plant the tree near the entrance of their gardens. When grown in pairs near a walkway or doorway, it creates an interesting design. You can even choose to grow multiple trees along a low fence in a row. Plant it in your garden and enjoy the aesthetic appeal it adds to it!