Fastigiata.... Blue Totem Spruce question

steve5693March 28, 2009

I have 9' of space between my Grey Owls and think a pair of Blue Totems would look nice. Problem is, I live in Mid-Nebraska and the closest retail nursery I can find who carries them is in Colorado Springs, which is 7 hours away. The Colo. Springs gal I talked to said they are called "Wells Blue Totem" and get approx 3' wide. I wouldn't mind making the trip as it's a very focal spot in my yard, but now am taking pause as a couple of local garden center employees have told me that Blue Totems and Columnar Blue Spruces are the same thing, and they get 6'-8' wide. Soooo... before I make the long trek, I want to find out if anyone knows if Blue Totems are narrower and distinct from the columnar blues, or if they're all about the same. Thanks.

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dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

"Blue Totems and Columnar Blue Spruces are the same thing
".

Not so...'Blue Totems' have a tighter growth habit, then Iseli Fastigata'.

Hit the link for further discussion.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: Link

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 1:00AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

mail order is very easy .. though the plants are smaller ...

face it.. you are getting the collectors bug... if that is true ... may as well learn how mail order works.. and get named plants ... which grow to certain specs ...

i cant tell where you are zone wise.. so i dont know the wndow of opportunity for planting ...

its right now in zones 5,6 ....

and amer conf soc database is pretty good as a starting point for info ... link below ... start with picea pungens.. aka blue spruce ... also try the culitvar name you note

good luck

ken

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 9:11AM
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steve5693

Appreciate the useful links. Indeed feeling the collectors bug, but around here it's always cedar, cedar, cedar...colo.spruce. Cedar, cedar, cedar...pine. Cedar, cedar, cedar...

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 4:42PM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

Go for it Steve. AT a later point you can limb em up. It's gonna be a lonnnnnnnnng time before you'll ever need to. 'Well's Blue Totem' is the preferred.

Dax

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 9:28AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Another new tidbit I learned today...can't validate it though.

Wells nursery planted out 100s of Picea pungens 'Iseli Fastigiata'. They then selected a superior selection that was much tighter in form and held up better to snow loads.

So they are apparently the same plant just a selection of such with a better habit.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 12:52PM
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dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

If you can't validate that statement then you really can't say " they are apparently the same plant just a selection of such with a better habit".

Dave

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 2:49PM
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coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

Will, are you telling us that the 'Blue Totem' is a selection out of the 'Iseli Fastigiate'?
Who gave you that info?
This could be interesting...

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 3:13PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

I thought I had it covered with "apparently".

Vermeulen nursery had given me this info.

Anyone can feel free to call Wells Nursery to get their take on it directly. I tried but got an answering service.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 3:43PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

From the source himself, Neil Hall, the one that selected the plant at Wells Nursery...

"It was a chance seedling from an order of Picea pungens understook that came from PA."

Perhaps there are doubters or perhaps it was fabricated but the best we can do is trust that 'Blue Totem' is not 'Iseli Fastigiate' but a chance seedling of Picea pungens that some say has a tighter, more compact habit than 'Iseli Fastigiate'.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 6:03PM
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coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

So the story "it was selected out of 'Iseli Fastigiate' " is just a fairy tale story...

The truth is that it arose is a seedling selection which was discovered between Picea pungens seedlings understock.

Thanks for this info!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 2:11AM
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dietzjm

Will, you're quite the Sherlock Holmes of the Conifer World!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 4:09AM
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dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

Wells "Blue Totem" is their introduction. Has nothing to do with 'Iseli Fastigiate' although similar but with slightly different growth characteristics.

I planted these 'Blue Totem in 2004. 3 X 1 ft. wide.

Now they are 8 ft X 30" wide.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: Columnar Blue Spruce 'Fastigiata'

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 8:08AM
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coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

It looks like the 'Iseli Fastigiate' and 'Fastigiata' are the same plant.

The shape of the 'Blue Totem' is much better then the 'Iseli Fastigiate'...

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 8:19AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

I just wanted to dig into it because I know a few on this board thought they where the same plant. And apparently a few in the industry feel its the same plant as well. I'm not going to share any addition commments on what was said about the the introduction because its a he said, she said. Of course you can email me if you want to know.

I have both plants (including one sold as 'Fastigiata') and the one sold as 'Blue Totem' has thinner branches than my 'Iseli Fastigiate' but Neil said the BT has thicker branches, slower growth and a tighter more compact habit.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 9:12AM
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dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

If your 'Blue Totem' has a Wells Nursery tag on it you can rest assured it's 'Blue Totem'.

With other nursery's selling this conifer with their own tag on it then in my own opinion you don't know which one you are getting. It's so mixed up and if it were to be known most don't know what in the hell they are selling.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 9:44AM
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coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

This is a very sad situation...

Dave, did your plant had a Wells Nursery tag?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 10:42AM
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dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

Edwin,

Yes, all three of them.

I will also say Picea pungens 'Fastigiata' with the Iseli tag on it is a sure bet also.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 12:00PM
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coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

Dave, doesn't that sound strange to you that the Iseli tag is mentioning 'Fastigiata' instead of 'Iseli Fastigiate'?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 12:46PM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

I once bought a 'Fastigiata' but the tag didn't say Iseli... I do believe 'Fastigiata' and 'Iseli Fastigiate' are the same.

This is my own seedling I am watching now for five years. Provisionally I have it named (Dax's Provisional) until years ahead I will know for sure it's shape and whether it is cultivar-worthy. Something tells me that it will be cultivar-worthy. Its stems are going upright. Since the drought of the last two years, it really isn't growing much: 4-5" this year and last, on the tip shoot. Maybe next year it grows more with the help of much more rain.

Picea pungens (Dax's Provisional) shown in bright light

Picea pungens (Dax's Provisional) shown in direct sunlight

Dax

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 7:32PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Dax, thats a nice one. Hopefully it maintains that slower, dense growth rate.

It will be interesting to see how these plants shake out over the next few years.

'Iseli Fastigiate'

'Fastigiata'

'Blue Totem' - Growth suffered this year due to root work

Perhaps RC can find out the story on the 'Iseli Fastigiate'?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 7:53PM
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