How to Use Dwarf Alberta Spruce in the Landscape

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The dwarf Alberta spruce (Picea glauca "Conica") -- a dense, coniferous evergreen -- lends its compact, pyramidal shape to yards in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 through 6. This classic tree has a wide range of landscape uses, from utilitarian to purely aesthetic. Whether you're using it as a boundary or you simply want to increase your curb appeal, you certainly don't lack options. Take its size into account. At maturity, the dwarf Alberta spruce reaches 10 to 12 feet tall, but it takes the plant about 25 or 30 years to reach that size. Leave at least 3 to 4 feet of space between each plant.

  • Make the dwarf Alberta spruce a key feature in your foundation planting. Because it grows slowly, stays small and lasts for a long time with little care, this specimen makes for a time-tested foundation plant that lends a formal, classic look to the home. It may also provide a little privacy when planted near windows.

  • Plant the dwarf Alberta spruce in rows as a screen, boundary or privacy hedge. This plant can withstand high winds and its dense growth makes it difficult to see through.

  • Use your dwarf Alberta spruce as an accent plant. The symmetrical form of this small tree makes it work as a single accent -- in which it often becomes a focal point of the landscape -- or a matched pair. Stick with even spacing if using more than two dwarf Alberta spruces. Bring attention to a landscape feature, such as an entryway, sign or decoration, by framing it between two dwarf Alberta spruces.

Tips & Warnings

  • The National Gardening Association recommends pairing this conifer with deciduous shrubs, roses or perennials in landscape beds.
  • Choose a spot that meets the plant's needs. No matter what purpose the tree serves in your landscape, the dwarf Alberta spruce needs moist, well-draining, acidic soil and a spot that receives full or partial sun.

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