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Video: Features Of Growing Spruce And Its Use For Decorative Purposes
The spruce genus has about 45 species, and they all grow in our northern hemisphere. Half of these species grow in China. Of all this diversity, two species are most often found on our plots - this is common spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst) and prickly spruce (Picea pungens Engelm.) - the people call its bluish form "blue spruce". This is justified by both decorativeness and climatic resistance.
Unfortunately, we have such an interesting and rather stable species as the Serbian spruce (Picea omorica (Pancic) Purkine), which I must say a few words about. Serbian spruce in nature has survived only in a very limited area in the mountains of Yugoslavia. It is strikingly different from many other species. Its unusualness lies in the fact that it somewhat resembles a fir. Like Siberian fir, this spruce has a spire-like crown, which rises in a column to a great height. The needles are flat, and if on one side it is green, then on the other - light gray. When the wind sways the crown, the needles shimmer with these two colors.
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What should be the growing conditions for the spruce to show their decorative qualities to the maximum?
Although the gray color of the needles is, first of all, a genetically determined trait, to a large extent it also depends on the growing conditions. For example, to make the prickly spruce as "blue" as possible, it is planted in the sunniest areas with fairly dry soils. It should be noted that additional nitrogen fertilization has a negative effect on the color of the needles, as it "turns green". The prickly spruce is afraid of gas pollution less than all other types of spruce.
Serbian spruce is also a fairly gas-resistant breed, but ordinary spruce loves only clean air. The latter two species prefer soils of medium moisture and medium fertility. Full illumination in these species also has a beneficial effect on decorativeness, since the crown becomes denser, and the trunk below is less exposed.
Norway spruce has a superficial root system, and therefore can grow even where groundwater occurs quite close to the surface. It is nevertheless desirable that the impermeable horizon in conditions of flat relief does not lie higher than 50 cm from the soil surface.
What kind of garden problems can the listed types of spruce help to solve?
Norway spruce has a very great potential. Here are just some of the possibilities.
It can be used as a repeated Christmas tree. In order to use it in this capacity, they resort to using a container. Such a plant is prepared in advance. To do this, a spruce tree grown up to 1.5 m in height in the open field is dug out of the soil with a lump in the spring (before bud break), which must be protected from destruction. So that the lump does not crumble, the area on which the spruce grows should have a soil that is not sandy loam and not peaty, but preferably loamy. The lump is placed in a large container (about 10 liters) and then grown in it.
With the onset of winter, the container is covered with snow as early as possible before the start of the trunk. This is due to the fact that the aboveground part of the spruce is frost-resistant, and the root system is the most vulnerable. Closer to the New Year holidays, the spruce is placed in a cool place (+ 5 + 12 ° C), where the coma will gradually thaw. Immediately when introduced from the cold, the crown of the spruce is watered with water from a watering can. This is to prevent the crown from drying out. After thawing the ball, the spruce with the container can participate in the New Year holidays.
After the end of the holidays, without waiting for the buds to bloom, in not very frosty weather, the spruce is taken back to the street, and the container, as in the beginning of winter, is covered with snow. Thus, this tree can be used for several years.
Restrictive pruning is recommended if the crown is sparse. It must be remembered that an unnecessarily thick crown, which can turn out after pruning, will reduce decorativeness. They feed the plant a little. It can be added in the first decade of May and in the first decade of August, 1 teaspoon per container of Kemira. Strong top dressing enhances the growth processes too much.
Another purpose of the common spruce is to create a hedge. Immediately you need to understand that the hedge should always be in full lighting conditions. The height of the fence can be small - about 1 meter, to mark the border, and maybe even higher - about 2 m, to mask the site. The distance between plants can be taken equal to 1 meter. In this case, an annual haircut is a must. The density of the crown is necessary here.
Cutting is carried out with garden shears at the end of June, when the growth is extended, but has not yet fully lignified. 80-90% of the new increase is removed. One haircut per year is enough.
Care should be taken to ensure that nearby trees do not obscure the hedges. In this case, not only can its decorative effect decrease, but the whole area can fall out. It is impossible to repair such a fence. In this, unfortunately, it differs unfavorably from a hedge from a brilliant cotoneaster. In a drought, moisture-charging irrigation will not interfere, especially in those places where there is a competing root system of other trees nearby.
Barbed spruce and Serbian spruce are often planted singly.
It can be noted that Serbian spruce can make a magnificent alley planting along the road, but this is possible only in very large areas. Despite the fact that the height of adult plants can exceed 30 m, they are small in size for a long time. When reaching certain sizes, their height can be limited by cutting. The maximum trimming rate should not exceed the last three increments. Otherwise, the upper part of the crown will develop in the form of a "nest".
If necessary, a fairly large tree can be transplanted to another location. Spruce tolerates transplanting much better than, for example, pine. It is naturally necessary to transplant with a lump.
While almost any plant is currently on the market, many find it interesting to grow trees from seed on their own. You can also grow it yourself. In youth, they do not grow as fast as larch, but not as slowly as firs. The seeds of many plant species are easier to obtain than they used to be. Many firms are now selling them.
Common spruce seeds are easy to prepare yourself. To do this, in March, when a strong crust already appears, cones are collected under the fir trees. New buds differ from old buds by the presence of green needles at their base. After collecting, the cones are folded into a linen bag and dried on a central heating battery. After two days, when the cones open, the seeds are knocked out and placed in a paper bag before sowing. Store seeds in a dry place. They have a forced dormancy and germinate soon after they get into a suitable environment for this. Special training in the form of stratification is optional.
The best sowing site is a relatively tall film greenhouse. The substrate is desirable on the basis of milled sphagnum peat with a low degree of decomposition. To prepare the substrate, 35 g of limestone flour and 20 g of Kemira are added to wet peat for 10 liters, alternately with stirring.
Before sowing, which is desirable at the very beginning of May, the whole seeds are separated from the empty ones. To do this, fill the seeds with water and wait a day. After this time, full-grain seeds sink, while empty ones remain floating. Full-grain seeds are pickled in a 0.2% solution of potassium permanganate for 30 minutes and dried on a newspaper. After that, the seeds are sown with a density of 1200 pcs / m². It is better to do line seeding, as this makes maintenance easier. From above, the crops are mulched with 0.5-1.0 cm with a mixture of fresh sawdust of coniferous species and peat, taken in a 1: 1 ratio.
In the process of growing annual seedlings, three foliar dressings are carried out until August 1 with a 0.1% solution of urea. The first is carried out two weeks after germination. In early May of the second year, seedlings are planted in the ridge. Previously, the same peat mixture is added to this ridge that was used for sowing in an amount of 30-50 l / m². The distance between the seedlings when planting is 15-20 cm. Further, in the process of growing in the ridge, the plants are fed every year at the beginning of May with Kemira at a rate of 20 g / m². If necessary, watering and weeding is carried out.
The minimum period for growing plants in a ridge is three years. Thus, you can not only get planting material for your site, but also offer an extra one for landscaping an object in a city or at an enterprise.