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Norway spruce is a medium to large conical conifer. When young (first 10 years or so), the plant is stiffly conical. With age, the secondary branches hang from the primary horizontal branches. This pendulous branch habit confers a very graceful effect to the tree. This species is a popular conifer but is often misplaced in the landscape because the mature size is generally not taken into consideration. For example, a relatively small Norway spruce planted in front a house looks just fine; in 20 years (and thereafter) the tree will grow to dimensions that overtake the view of the house. This species has a relatively fast growth rate when young. There are numerous cultivars (over 150) that vary in size (growth rate), form, and needle color. There are several diminutive cultivars that grow only a few inches per year. For example, ‘Little Gem’ has a mounded form and grows about 2 inches per year.
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Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
February 22, 2012