Serbian Spruce (Picea omorika)
Serbian spruces are narrower than most spruces. Typically, they grow slowly to 50 or 60 feet high. Columnar in shape, at mature height they will be no wider than to 25 feet. Serbian spruces reach their mature height in 50 to 60 years.
While most Spruces have needles that are square when cut in cross section, Serbian spruce foliage is similar to that of hemlocks and firs whose needles are flat. The needles are from 1/2 to 1 inch long and they are dark lustrous green with two white lines on their undersides. They grow densely on the upper surfaces of stiff, up-tilted branches that droop a bit as the tree ages.
The flowers of Serbian spruces are soft cones, greenish male ones clustering around the ends of the lower branches of the tree, and orange-red female ones on the upper branches. The female ones are visible in late May or early June, standing up erectly. As the season progresses they darken to purple and turn downward and enlarge into cones. They then hang down from the spruce branches from July through to January. They are valued by a wide variety of wildlife such as squirrels, deer, ground birds and songbirds. Woodpeckers, chickadees, mockingbirds, robins, purple finches and goldfinches find nesting protection in spruces as well.
Serbian spruce Choices
Nana is a dwarf cultivar that grows slowly to 3 feet high and wide and has blue-green needles. Pendula has long, slightly twisted pendulous branches.