Norway spruce is a beautiful conifer integrated in large-scale plantings due to its dramatic structure. Here, we shall provide you with details about how to train and prune a weeping Norway spruce.
Did You Know?
The weeping Norway spruce does not grow from seeds. Therefore, it is not restricted in any zone of the U.S.
A splendiferous, flowing, and non-flowering conifer, which if trained in the early years, can be left alone for the rest of its life; we are referring to the ever famous and striking Norway spruce. This tree is often seen in Asian gardens or natural water gardens and in snowy regions.
The Norway spruce, scientifically known as Picea abies, incorporates itself perfectly into narrow and difficult spaces due to its structure, thereby making an impressive focal point in the courtyards with naturalistic landscaping.
This ornamental conifer refrains from growing straight. The day the Norway spruce grows about 3 feet tall, it starts to dip over the ground. To avoid this ‘weeping’ of the tree, training and pruning are the two important steps that it must undergo.
How to Train the Weeping Norway Spruce
► The Norway spruce if left untrained, will not grow more than 3 to 5 feet, and will spread horizontally to become a ground cover. But proper training and staking will help the tree to attain a height of about 20 feet or more. In order to keep the tree upright, putting up stakes is essential.
► While staking the tree, make sure that the exposed stake is a little taller than you want the upright trunk to be. Then, tie the spruce by the trunk with the stake to keep it straight.
► Avoid tying it up tightly, otherwise it will damage the spruce. Once the spruce reaches the tip of the stakes, the branches will start sprawling outwards. This way, the Norway spruce will attain a conical shape.
► Remember that the spruce spreads out to a width of about 10 feet. So, see that there is enough space for the tree to grow and spread.
How to Prune the Weeping Norway Spruce
► While training means setting up the basic framework for the tree, pruning means to cultivate, tend to, and cut back on the unwanted growth of the tree. Pruning helps to attain a specific shape or size of the tree. It is a step in which the dead or damaged branches are cut off from the tree.
► To keep the size of the plant in control, a slit (slightly) has to be made just above the leaf bud. The similar procedure can be repeated while pruning unwanted branches. Making a one-fourth inch slit over the attachment of the branches will refrain them from growing in that direction.
► The most important warning while pruning is to be careful with the leader. Leader is the topmost vertical twig, which is in line with the main bark. Do not chop off the leader. It acts as the tip for the coniferous spruce. Every spruce should have only a single leader.
► Make sure that while pruning, you trim the branches and twigs sticking out of the conical shape.
► Pruning is generally done once at the beginning of the year. But you might as well prune the tree during winters.
► Prune the Norway spruce with sharp and clean pruners. If the spruce has the height of a shrub, use loppers, pruners, or hand shears. If the spruce is tall and high, use pole pruners.
How to Care for a Weeping Norway Spruce
► Before planting a Norway spruce in the garden, know that the tree needs a lot of space―horizontally and vertically as well!
► The Norway spruce is subjugated to budworm, spider mites, and spruce gall aphid.
► This spruce needs to be watered such that the water reaches at least 8 feet from the ground. This will make the tree more tolerant to drought.
► If you will dig a hole (4 inches approximately) through the soil and feel that the soil is dry, it’s time for the tree to be watered.
► When the Norway spruce is fully matured, then you can add fertilizers to the tree after every 3 years. When young, add fertilizers annually.
► Do not over-fertilize the tree. These trees should be fed during spring. Feeding fertilizers at the wrong time also causes damage to the tree.
So it’s totally up to you if you want the spruce vertical or horizontal. But we feel that a well-pruned Norway spruce is much more elegant and adds more value and beauty to a garden than without it. If you decide to prune your weeping Norway spruce, we are sure that this piece from Gardenerdy will help you to a great extent.