Abies concolor 'Candicans'

the_yard_guy(6A)August 14, 2014

I haven't posted much in this forum but reading another thread today made me think about this. Why does it seem that many samples of the very blue Abies concolor 'Candicans' seem to look rather thin and bare compared to other cultivars and the species versions ?

I've only viewed maybe a dozen or so 'Candicans' but each one looked super blue and had sparse needles and branches compared to other concolors.

Thanks.

TYG

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

full sun versus part shade????

wish you could google up some pix.. to show us.. what you are seeing

ken

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 4:53PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

In my maritime climate area all the intense blue, dry climate conifers go dingy and then bald on the inside - not just this cultivar. To see a blue spruce or a white fir under the continental conditions of eastern Washington is to see them in their glory.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 9:02PM
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baxz5oh(5)

Unfortunately Candicans grows poorly in container production.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 5:36AM
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the_yard_guy(6A)

Thanks everyone. I have seen several 'Candicans' at nurseries, growing as b and b or container stock and while very blue in color they just don't seem as full and thick as species concolor. There is a small arboretum nearby with both planted close together. I'll try to get a photo soon. Both are in full sun.

Thanks

TYG

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 7:55AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

'Candicans' is a thin growing cultivar doesn't matter where its planted or its exposure. As to why no idea.

Perhaps it has something to do with its seed source orgins. I know the color and desnsity differs by region.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 9:29AM
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sc77

I agree with whaas, that sparse look is actually a characteristic of 'Canadicans'. It might be more pronounced in different areas and sun/shade settings, but that is the typical habit of this cultivar. It's a relatively old cultivar, and not as common as it once was for this reason and it's irregular growth pattern when young.

If you like the color of 'Candicans', but want something fuller, go for 'Blue Cloak' or one of the newer cultivars.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 9:54AM
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the_yard_guy(6A)

SC, thanks for the suggestion on 'Blue Cloak' as substitute for 'Candicans' . I have not researched 'Blue Cloak' but is it recommended for Zone 5/6, Upper Midwest? Michigan here. Just wanted to check on that since reading about the Picea pungens problems in this area.

Thanks,

TYG

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 11:01AM
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sc77

On paper, my understanding is that yes, it is indeed a good choice for MI. I know Ken grows 'Candicans' and maybe he also grows 'Blue Cloak'? I'd let someone from that area confirm

Here is a link that might be useful: U of Michigan - Blue Spruce Alternatives

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 12:09PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

Thanks everyone. I have seen several 'Candicans' at nurseries, growing as b and b or container stock and while very blue in color they just don't seem as full and thick as species concolor.

==>>> you dont know where this type of stock spent its youth ...

concolor is bulletproof in MI ... including this last z4 winter ... no damage at all ...

crushed leaves.. smell of grapefruit.. totally amazing,...

and candicans sapphire blue cones are incredible.. in about 10 years ...

there is also a yellow version .. though it takes a few years for it to get big enough.. to show off its coloration ...

i seem to have a prostrate version.. which joy says doesnt exist ... time will tell if it decides to grow toward the sky ...

there are also some dwarfs ... scooter i think ....

ken

ps: now that my candicans is getting past 15 feet ... it is getting a bit ugly ....

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 12:45PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

For those wanting density and shortness 'Compacta' has been long admired.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 3:24PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

if you want more blue alternatives for MI.. start a new post ...

ken

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 3:51PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Abies concolor 'Glenmore' is another nice blue cultivar but I agree with bboy if you want a smaller selection 'Compacta' is by far the best upright Abies concolor. Nice thick needles and very blue. Its the only exposed (above the snow line) concolor that didn't burn for me. I had a harsh zone 5 winter but if Ken had a zone 4 winter I must have had a zone 3 winter.
Nurseries in my area didn't release Abies concolor for sale this year as they burnt pretty bad...as did mine. They are totally fine after the new flush though.

For another blue you have Picea engelmannii.
Vanderwolf Blue, Blue Angel, Bush's Lace and Blue Magoo are all nice blue cultivars.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 8:57PM
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the_yard_guy(6A)

Thanks for all the great suggestions and ideas. I'll do some serious R&D on these and see which ones might be a good fit in my available space.

In order to show the shape and form of 'Candicans' vs the species form I took a couple of photos. These are at a local park and I have no idea where these trees came from or how long they have been planted, etc. They are both roughly 8-10 feet tall and in full sun. The species (top) seems much fuller from leader to ground than does the 'Candicans' cultivar (bottom).

TYG

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 4:42PM
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