Killed Picea Orientalis 'Tom Thumb Gold' 3X

picea(6A Cinci- Oh)December 2, 2008

I noticed that many of you have had success growing Picea Orientalis 'Tom Thumb' and was wondering the setting and conditions your plants are in. I have killed 3. One from Bob Fincham and 2 from Dennis Dodge. All looked healthy when I got the plants. All did poorly after going in the ground.



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My theory is that some species simply have a personal grudge : All my concolor firs have died.

Got one Picea Orientalis 'Tom Thumb' -- never any problems, other than attacks by insane redwing blackbirds, during mating season....

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 8:02PM
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Zone 7 here, my Tom Thumb Gold is in 8+ hours a day sun and mild temps year round. Doing fine, some slight sunburning on the new tips.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 9:45PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

I've killed two myself. Other orientalis I have are fine ('Bergman's Gem' & 'Prof. Langner'). I know they need some shade, but I may have given them too much shade.


    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 12:15AM
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bindersbee(6a UT)

I'm sorry to hear that- especially since it's high on my want list. I have a 'Skylands' Oriental Spruce (I think Tom is a broom from Skylands) but we haven't been through a winter yet. I'm really hoping I don't kill mine. I also have a little burning on the tips which I hope doesn't weaken it. I guess I'll find out in the spring. It sure looks gorgeous right now though.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 8:38AM
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picea(6A Cinci- Oh)

I also have the following Picea Orientalis cultivars; Bergmans Gem, Shadows Broom, Skylands, Silver Seedling, the straight species, Weeping Dwarf and one I got as a prostrate form. No problems with any of them, just Tom Thumb.


    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 9:56AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

go figure on this ... 5 skylands dead .. a 25 footer living at hidden lakes 12 miles away .... in full sun.. in a glacial cauldron ... which i suspect the winter wind basically blows over ....

and i have no problem with tom thumb .. the dwarf skylands .... ... i presume because it gets snow covered ... which makes it a zone warmer .... no winter sun nor wind ...

my other failures include 3 taylors sunburst ....

they say you are not a gardener.. until you have killed every plant 3 times .... the issue is why i tried 5 times with skylands ... that is beyond the definition of gardener.. into the definition of lunacy ... lol

at what point do you just give up?????


PS: the two references to winter wind ... is my hypothesis ... for my zone 5

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 10:24AM
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My father was the originator of the 'Tom Thumb'. It is a broom from Skylands aka (Picea Orientalis Compacta Aurea). This plant is very difficult to grow. I have experienced great losses when planted in the ground at an early age. I now leave the root stock on as long as I can possibly tolerate and in a container until it is of a nice size for planting. Some have the RS left on 10 years. I just keep trimming off most of the branches of the RS leaving a few for growth. The plant does much better under this method. I have found that planting this culitvar in an open shade or partial shade is the best. I have found that it is best on the north or east side of a building and try to keep it out of the wind.

Not much more to say except very challanging.


    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 10:40AM
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dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

I am a member of the ACS. As an active supporter I purchased mine in 2007 to help them promote the conifer of the year program. They offer several cultivars to choose from.

I purchased Picea 0.'Tom Thumb' and planted it under a Pinus paviflora as I knew it would need protection. In Kansas high temps and humidity will burn these young cultivars up. With the protection it is exposed to 4 hours of sun light a day. Although it seems healthy it has not performed well. I see a small amount of growth so we will see what next year brings.

Here's a photo of 'Tom Thumb' also of 'Skylands' which I acclimated for 2 years with 60-40 netting. This year it was on its own. The first one I burnt to a crisp in just 3 months here in Kansas City. Both shown here are in winter foliage.


    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 12:23PM
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