Meet a spruce with a neat and tidy footprint. Columnar Norway spruce grows 8-10 inches per year, topping out at 20-30 feet. The mature spread is a modest 6-10 feet. It boasts a low maintenance personality and holds its shape well beneath heavy snow loads. Hardy in Zones 2 to 7. Botanical name: Picea abies ‘Cupressina’
Bird’s nest spruce (Picea abies ‘Nidiformis’) is a type of Norway spruce that grows to resemble a flattened sphere. The top of the plant has a slight depression, which gives the effect of a bird’s nest. Plants grow 2 to 3 feet tall and wide, the perfect size for a foundation planting or rock garden. Hardy in Zones 3-7.
Evergreens provide excellent shelter for all kinds of wildlife, but Black Hills spruce is especially attractive to birds, who frequently build nests among the branches. Plant one for a specimen, or position several to create a windbreak. This spruce has a strong conical shape, grows slowly and is deer resistant. Hardy in Zones 2-8. Botanical name: Picea glauca ‘Densata’
It’s not unusual to find dwarf Alberta spruce (Picea glauca ‘Conica’) sold in various forms. In the nursery trade, this type of pruned spruce is known as a topiary spiral. Its unusual silhouette makes it a good choice for a focal point shrub in the landscape. When adding dwarf Alberta spruce to your yard, choose a spot with full to part sun and well-drained soil.
Dwarf Alberta spruce (Picea glauca ‘Conica’) has a shape like a miniature Christmas tree. Bright green needles demand little care to look their best, and a slow growth rate makes this spruce a go-to evergreen for containers. Dwarf Alberta spruce grows just 2 to 4 inches a year. When shopping, buy a plant close to the size you want.
A small size keeps the touchable branches of dwarf Norway spruce easily within reach. These plants form mounds 3-4 feet tall and 3-6 feet wide. Slow growing and deer resistant, this spruce is a favorite among birds. Use it in planting beds as an accent, or plant several to create an informal hedge. Hardy in Zones 2-8. Botanical name: Picea abies ‘Pumila’
Versatile and beautiful, the dwarf globe blue spruce is an eye-catcher in the landscape. The miniature tree features classic blue spruce needles on an upright stem. It’s a slow grower and eventually reaches 6 feet tall and 5 feet wide, but that size can take decades to achieve. Use this unusual tree in perennial beds, and underplant it with daylilies or catmint. Hardy in Zones 3-7. Botanical name: Picea Globe Blue Standard
Perfect for small space gardens, ‘Little Gem’ Norway spruce adds a touch of elegance to any setting. It blends neatly into formal or informal designs and introduces a pop of year-round color. The greenery grows a tidy 18 inches tall and wide. The standard (upright) stem is 3 feet high. Hardy in Zones 3-8. Botanical name: Picea abies ‘Little Gem’
One of the most common ways to use dwarf Alberta spruce in the landscape is to plant a pair flanking an entry, driveway or path. In this entry garden, two spruce frame the steps to the front porch, effectively calling attention to it. Clumps of pink spirea provide a pretty counterpoint to the steady green of this pair of porch-side spruces. In winter, dwarf Alberta spruce really shines, sounding a steady note of green through snows and winter cold. Dwarf Alberta spruce (Picea glauca ‘Conica’) is hardy in Zones 2 to 8.
When choosing dwarf Alberta spruce for pots, consider miniature varieties, like Tiny Tower (Picea glauca conica ‘MonRon’). This little cutie reaches a maximum height of 4 to 6 feet tall and up to 2 feet wide. The slow growth rate means you can keep it tucked into containers for a few years. Tiny Tower has bright green leaves that shift to gray as they mature. It’s hardy in Zones 3 to 8. At Christmas, you’ll often see mini Christmas trees in pots. These are usually dwarf Alberta spruce and can be planted into the landscape after the holiday.