Bruns Serbian SprucePicea omorika 'Bruns'
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Picea omorika 'Bruns'
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Bruns Serbian Spruce is an evergreen conifer tree with a tight, upright form, growing into a column, or very narrow cone, of dense branches. It will reach about 10 feet in as many years and be just 2 or 3 feet wide. In time it will pass 20 feet, but remain very, very slender. With its narrow profile it makes the perfect accent for smaller gardens, giving height without taking up room. On a lawn, alone or in a cluster, it is graceful and appealing, or plant it in the corners of your garden for a visual accent. Grow it in beds among other evergreens, on banks and slopes, or on the sunny edge of woodlands.
Full sun or a little partial shade is ideal for Bruns Serbian Spruce. It is very hardy, and thrives, in cooler zones, but not in the humid south-east. It will grow easily in any well-drained soil, and pests or diseases are normally never serious. Deer leave it alone, and absolutely no trimming is needed to keep its slender form. A striking, low-maintenance small tree considered very superior to Norway Spruce, but just as easy to grow.
Evergreen trees are classic plants for gardens, especially in colder zones, where winter will otherwise be a time of little more than bare branches. Unfortunately, many of them are beautiful when young, but grow wide, with branches reaching out over a large area, smothering the garden and making it hard for anything else to grow. Planting a big tree that takes over, because it looked ‘cute’ in the pot, is one of the most common garden mistakes, and yet easily prevented. If you want that graceful, upright pyramidal look, but your space is limited, then take a few moments to choose your tree carefully. For a lovely tapering column of green needles, that won’t spread widely, a real winner is Bruns Serbian Spruce, a densely branched selection that is perfect for small spaces, bringing height, but staying slender.
Bruns Serbian Spruce is an evergreen needle tree with dense branches to the ground that grows between 6 and 12 inches a year. Within 10 years it will be well over 6 feet tall, and possibly as much as 12 feet tall, but it will only be 2½ to 4 feet wide. Like all evergreens, it will continue to grow throughout its life, so in time it will be considerably taller, but retain than slender form, and never take up a lot of ground space. Unless grown in shade the lower branches will remain for many years, before a trunk develops. The bark on the trunk is dark brown, and split vertically and horizontally into irregular plates, giving a mature tree an attractive appearance.
The stems of Bruns Serbian Spruce are arranged in horizontal layers around the single central trunk, and densely packed, so the tree forms a tight column. The needles cover the branches, hiding the stems, and they are arranged in two broad rows down either side of the stem. The slender needles are between ½ and 1 inch long, pointed, and they are green to blue-green and glossy on the upper side, and gray-green on the lower side. These colors contrast to create a bright, slightly silvered green look, with good depth of color. Older trees often develop clusters of hanging cones, shaped like pointed eggs, between 1¼ and 2 inches long. These are violet-purple when young, and very striking, maturing to a golden-brown color.
Grow Bruns Serbian Spruce as a handsome specimen on a lawn or in beds. With its slender form it can be planted close to walls, and it would be attractive between windows, or in corners around your home. A pair could flank a doorway, driveway or any entrance. On a larger lawn, plant a cluster of 3 or even 5 trees, spacing them about 6 feet apart, for a striking effect. Use this spruce tree to fill the corner of a smaller space or grow it among other evergreen trees of varying forms. This striking tree fits anywhere you need a vertical accent, and a row along a path or drive would also be very attractive.
Bruns Serbian Spruce should be planted in full sun, but it will also tolerate a few hours of shade each day. Avoid very shady places, where the growth will be weak. Areas above zone 7 in the south-east are usually too hot and humid, but it is completely hardy and content in zone 4, all zones in between, and warmer zones with drier summers.
It grows well in almost any well-drained soil, and this adaptable tree is an easy and reliable choice, especially in cooler parts of the country. Pests and diseases don’t normally cause problems, and deer leave it alone. It is a good choice in urban areas, as it is tolerant of air pollution and urban conditions – and it fits well into smaller town gardens. No trimming is needed to keep its slender form, but watch the growing tip, and if you see two branches of equal length there, cut one of them back by two-thirds, or remove it completely, to keep a single leading trunk growing as the spine of your tree.
Bruns Serbian Spruce is a selected form of the Serbian spruce, Picea omorika. This tree is related to the Norway spruce, Picea abies, but it is much more handsome and highly regarded for its beauty than is that common tree. It comes from a very small area in Serbia, on the slopes and hills along the Drina river, and in the wild it is a threatened species, because of the small area in which it naturally grows. However, this tree is grown widely around the world, so it is not in danger of extinction. Wild trees can reach 100 feet tall, and the tree is noted for its slender, spire-like form. The variety called ‘Bruns’ originated in 1955 as a seedling tree, selected for its extremely slender form, by H. Bruns Nursery, Bad Zwischenahn, Germany. It should not be confused with another tree from that same nursery called Bruns Weeping Serbian Spruce, Picea omorika ‘Pendula Bruns’, which if staked forms a slender column of weeping branches. For a beautiful slender evergreen, that gives height in a confined space and makes an excellent accent, Bruns Serbian Spruce cannot be beaten. These special trees are grown by attaching pieces of the original tree to roots from seedling trees, and they should not be confused with ordinary seedlings of the Serbian spruce, which grow much wider. Order yours now, and go for the best, as our limited stock will be sold out very soon.