Return to the Conifers Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Meyer Spruce (picea meyeri)

Posted by basic z4A WI (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 7, 08 at 9:44

I'm looking for an alternative to P. pungens and/or P. glauca, and was wondering if anyone has experience with this exotic spruce? Information is a bit tough to come by, but a couple of sites report it being very similar in appearance to Blue Spruce, but with greater disease resistance. Is this an accurate portrayal?

I'm thinking of buying several (plant band size) and planting out in a relatively isolated area on the property (i.e. little or no watering) for potential use as Christmas Trees. Will this spruce handle light, sandy soils? How about tolerance for drought? Would it make a good Christmas tree?

Thanks!

Bob


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Meyer Spruce (picea meyeri)

No particular reason it should be more disease resistant, except perhaps against any Picea pungens specialists that have expanded in a big way to make use of an enlarged food base.

Should be among the more drought resistant of spruces.

Resin


 o
RE: Meyer Spruce (picea meyeri)

Hi Resin,

Actually, I'm more interested in finding something approximating the blue foliage of CBS than I am concerned about disease resistance, especially since these would be used for Christmas trees and harvested at a relatively young age. Some (too many) CBS in these parts are denuded of lower branches by cytospora canker and look horrible. However, this normally takes place after they've achieved some size (i.e. around 20 years old?).

Firs make superior Christmas trees IMO, mainly due to needle retention, but also softness of foliage. Unfortunately, our soils are not conducive to growing Abies. I'm experimenting with a few different species, but I doubt any will be long lived, even with supplemental watering when young. Do all spruce tend to quickly shed needles after being cut? Are there any that behave like Firs in this regard?

Bob


 o
RE: Meyer Spruce (picea meyeri)

Hi Bob,
? A little too much clay for Abies? I'm on the edge of too much humidity, temperature, low altitude, and too much conservatism. I'm trying a number of species and so far I've been lucky with climate for the past several years (9).
The only tree I have ever had a complaint with as far as needle drop has been Norway spruce. I sell CB, Norway, and Serbian spruces as well as 7 other trees. The complaints have been less than 1 percent. 1 two years ago. I make a point of discussing this problem with each Norway purchaser. If you cut in the month of December or late Nov. there should be no problem with anything.
Your conditions are very different from mine but but but I have never been able to kill a Concolor.
.


 o
RE: Meyer Spruce (picea meyeri)

"...and too much conservatism."

Are you saying people in your neck of the woods are too conservative to try Firs? What's a matter with 'em!?!

As far as our soil conditions, too dry and hot for most Abies. My species White Fir (A. concolor) suffered severe winter burn and is unlikely to survive. This was a bad year for burn all around, but Concolor suffered the most. On the other hand, A. concolor 'Candicans', which is no more than 15' away (same conditions) doesn't have any damage. Would the wax coating providing the blue coloration prevent this? I also noted the glaucas A. lasiocarpa var. Arizonica didn't suffer any burn. Nor did A. koreana 'Horstmann's Silberlocke', while the two seedling koreana suffered moderate damage. Mmmm... The rest of my Abies are at the base of a north facing slope and they are burn free.

Bob


 o
RE: Meyer Spruce (picea meyeri)

Bob,
As far as I know, there is no one else east of the Blue Ridge mountains growing firs to sell. I expect to be corrected and then I'll know for sure. North and south of me the distance is at least 50 miles. I am against Blue mountain at Linden. So far fraser, nordman, concolor, lasiocarpa are doing ok. It seems that they do best on the roughest, steepest, most gravelely ground. My altitude is about 800 feet and I'm against the eastern slope of that mountain. I feel a bit strange discussing this with someone in 4b zone but anyway.. Hank


 o
RE: Meyer Spruce (picea meyeri)

Hi Bob. Tom from clear across the state here. Sorry A. concolor doesn't thrive where you are. They seem to like it just fine over here, suffering only from a general lack of awareness by the public that they exist. Now, our soils are about as unlike each other as could be. We're in clay-based stuff. Interesting comments as to the apparent greater suitability of the "candicans" for you. I've got no proof, but your hypothesis makes sense.
The meyeri I've not seen, as far as I'm aware, but from your description of what you might try, sounds like you could be ordering from Itasca. Just curious-have you done business with them before? and if so, what are your impressions of their stock and styroblock system of growing?

Best of luck.........+oM


 o
RE: Meyer Spruce (picea meyeri)

Tom--Yes, Itasca it is. No, I've never done business with them, but I'm going to try and arrange a visit the next time I'm in that part of MN. I'll start small with this; probably place an initial order of 100. They've also Korean Fir & Siberian Fir in plant bands, and if all goes well I may give these a try as well.

Hank--I'm very familiar with the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. We've vacationed out there a couple of times and its absolutely gorgeous. How far are you from the VA arboretum? Have you ever been to the little German restaurant just outside Staunton? My wife got crazy there one evening, standing on a chair and swinging a towel in the air while two dudes in lederhosen played German drinking songs around her. It was a great time, but got a little out of hand. But hey, that's what vacations are for. :)

Bob


 o
RE: Meyer Spruce (picea meyeri)

  • Posted by picea 6A Cinci- Oh (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 8, 08 at 13:31

I planted one Meyeri Spruce several years ago and the main difference I have noted is that is seems to grow much slower than picea Pungens. Maybe 50-70% of the rate of a blue spruce. David


 o
RE: Meyer Spruce (picea meyeri)

basic- I am very surprised to hear that Wisconsin is too hot and dry for white fir. Wisconsin is moist and cool compared to where I am, and there are a few 60 foot tall A. concolors in town in this area- where I live forests occurs only in the river floodplains, thats how harsh it is, but A. concolor survives no problem. I will post a picture later, but I think you just have specimens from a improper province!


 o
RE: Meyer Spruce (picea meyeri)

Fledge,

The hot, dry conditions prohibit me from growing the native Balsam Fir and others requiring cool, moist conditions. A. concolor will definitely grow here, and there are some fine specimens in the area. However, my experience thus far (very limited at that) is that it needs protection from winter sun and wind. I'll keep trying with White Fir 'til I get it right.

Bob


 o
RE: Meyer Spruce (picea meyeri)

Fledg, Wisconsin, like most states, has significant variation in weather, and especially soil, from one area to another. I am familiar with the part of the state where Bob resides, and it is VERY different than where I live, or even more so, where I own land, about 60 miles N. of here.

Also, drought has been merciless the last few years. This Winter, we had a lot of snow, and now, the heavy precipitation pattern is continuing. I like rain and snow and I really hope this signals a return to moister conditions. We've had rain and snow mixed, sometimes with thunder and lightening, for what seems like weeks now. It's pretty durned cool for this time of year, but I like this much better than the freakishly warm/hot Springs of the last two years.

+oM


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Conifers Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here