The Oriental Spruce is a conifer that makes the average garden look great. In most cases conifers are evergreens, however there are a few exceptions . As winter approaches and leaves drop, the visual interest in the garden is directed towards evergreens. The oriental spruce in one such plant. There are a variety of shapes and sizes, however the cultivar, Skylands, is one of my favorites
Before selecting any plant for you yard it is important to know the mature size and the plants cultural requirements. Too many times we buy plants with limited knowledge about the plant and then plant the tree or shrub in a location that has building or overhead limitations. Most conifers including this one enjoy full sun. My recommendation is to grow this in a location that gets about 6 -7 hours of sun with a little afternoon shade. I have found that 10 or more hours of sun may cause the needles to brown a little. Something that is not uncommon with yellow needled conifers. This spruce is planted in a bed that is mounded with 3-6 inches of soil. I do this because mounding the soil allows for better drainage. The soil does not have to be rich top soil any soil free from clay will work. Also a planting bed that has a slight mound has more visual interest. This tree is classified as a zone 5. This is a slow growing conifer that will reach 10 feet x 4 feet in ten years. Its ultimate mature height is 35 feet x 12 feet. This tree is a good choice as a specimen, or for smaller gardens where a tall conifer is wanted without giving over too much horizontal space.
You are not limited to the cultivar “Skylands”. Some of the other cultivars you may find in a nursery or garden center are Picea orientalis Nana, Aurea, Connecticut Turnpike, Bergman Gem, Acrocona .