Landscape Spotlight: Serbian Spruce, Picea Omorika

Posted November 24, 2016 in Blog, Plant and Tree

This fast-growing evergreen demands attention in the landscape.  With its slender form and upward swooping branches, it gives your landscape visual interest and is one of the most tolerant and dependable evergreens available.

Native to its namesake Serbia, and areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina, this tree has a rapid and steady growth rate reaching heights of up to 60’ tall and up to a 25’ wide spread.  It’s natural pyramidal shape hardly needs pruning and fairs well left to its own devices.  The neat attribute of the Serbian Spruce is that its needles are flat like a hemlock, not 4-sided like most other spruce trees.  The needles are a glossy dark green with an underside of silvery contrast, making it a pleasant sight when the breeze moves through its graceful branches.  This conifer’s cones are also quite notable, as their young cones are a rich purple-black in infancy, maturing to a vibrant cinnamon color.

Serbian Spruce trees will grow best in full sun to partial shade in cooler regions of the northern hemisphere, but not where there would be fear over winter wind damage.  While this evergreen prefers a rich, well-drained and moist soil, it can tolerate various dirt types from drier soils to urban environments, making it one of the hardiest spruces to incorporate into your landscape plan.  However, even with its tolerances, if this tree is planted in too shady of a spot, it will grow sparse and gangly; so be sure to be considerate of the planting location, giving it enough room and light to thrive and impress.

There are no serious insect or diseases that affect the Serbian Spruce, but it isn’t uncommon for spider mites or white pine weevils to settle in.  If a spruce is affected by these pests, it is easily noticed by the needles turning a speckled yellow or the tops of the tree will turn brown.  If you believe that the populations are too high or detrimental, you may want to consider researching organic sprays to try to combat the issue.  Remember, it is important to try to use natural remedies as much as possible when it comes to your property, especially if you have children and pets that like to explore!

In general, disease and pests don’t create a dramatic problem for this variety of fairly resistant spruce, so don’t have any trepidations about including them in your landscape design.  The Serbian Spruce is a great inclusion at parks, as street trees and in urban areas, as well as the residential application.  At home, this tree serves well as a privacy screening, as a landscape focal point, as well as a bountiful habitat for native birds.

This elegant specimen is undemanding and low-maintenance; perfect for your property and deserving more notoriety and use within the landscape.  Just as the Serbian Spruce is a dependable tree for your property, MasterPLAN Landscape Design is a dependable landscape design-build firm, who is knowledgeable and experienced in everything outdoors!  Reach out to MasterPLAN Landscape Design to unlock the true potential for your property.  From planting and patios to decks and diving boards, we would love to transform your outdoor living dreams into your reality!

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