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Serbian Spruce

Scientific Name

Picea omorika

 

Origin

Limestone mountains along the upper Drina River of Bosnia and Serbia & into southeastern Europe.  Some reports of findings in Asia Minor & Mideast. 

Habitat

Grows well in areas of full sun to partial shade with rich, moist soils that are well drained. Can tolerate soils with pH ranging from 5.5 to 8.0.  Can tolerate coastal areas with mild sea spray.    

Growth Nature

Growth rate relatively fast when young, these trees will typically reach heights between 40 60 ft. in the landscape setting.  The spread is much less, somewhere around 15 to 20 ft., creating a pyramidal shaped form over time.  The trunk tends to be slender and the branches form short, ascending or drooping, spiral habits.

Points of Interest

  • Is one of the few species of spruces with flat needles, similar to that of a hemlock, not the four-sided needles found in most spruces.

  • The needles are to 1 inch long and are a shiny dark green on top, while the underside has a silvery contrast created by two broad, stomatal bands.   

  • The cones are small and egg shaped, about 2 inches long. The cones are pendulous, blue-black when young. Mature cones are cinnamon in color.

  • The best time to transplant these trees is in spring or fall.  Seeds need to stratify for up to 3 months at 40 degrees F.