scientific name: Picea glauca ‘conica’,
Local: originated in cool forested regions of the Northern Hemisphere.
It is an evergreen shrub with a deep green foliage that consists of needle-like leaves. The Dense crown is supported by the brown trunk that gets ridged with age.
This conifer makes an excellent bonsai tree. It produces small flowers that are followed by small cones. This evergreen is a hardy tree that needs to be grown outside.
These conical shaped evergreen may grow to 10 feet tall but typically is seen in landscapes at 4 – 6 feet. They are hardy in zones 3 to 8, so you may have one growing in your yard now. It grows best in full sun, but the one in my yard is on the north side of the house and does get some morning sun. The only pest that seems to bother it is red spider mite; especially in hot dry weather. It is slow growing, typically only 3” per year. It has dense bright green needles. Occasionally you will see an Alberta spruce trimmed into a spiral or tiered topiary.
How to care Alberta Spruce Bonsai?
Water Requirements: It likes moist but well-drained soil. Needs daily watering from spring to fall. Requires less water during the winter month. Never allow the soil to dry out completely.
Bonsai Style: Most styles except for broom. Good styles for Dwarf Alberta Spruce Bonsai include straight-trunk, curved-trunk, windswept, and multi-trunk.
Pruning/Training: Prune branches in the fall when wounds will “bleed” less. During growing season wait for the new shoots to grow to 1 inch then pinch them back to about two-thirds of their length. You can use wires in late autumn or winter. Some spruces are difficult to wire because they quickly return to their original shape once the wire is removed.
Repotting: Needs to be repotted every two years during spring before the new growth begins or in the fall. It likes neutral to acidic, moist, well-drained soil. Use regular bonsai soil mix.
Fertilizing: Feed with well-balanced liquid fertilizer every two weeks from spring to fall.