Picea abies 'Acrocona'
Common Name: Norway spruce
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Pinaceae
Zone: 3 to 7
Height: 5.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 5.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Deer, Air Pollution

Culture

Easily grown in average, acidic, evenly moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Performs well in rich sandy soils. Prefers cool summer climates, and often grows poorly south of USDA Zone 7. Established plants have some tolerance for dryish soils.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Picea abies, commonly called Norway spruce, is a large pyramidal evergreen conifer that is native to the mountains of northern and central Europe east to the Urals. In its native European habitat, it typically matures to 100-150' (occasionally to 200') tall. It has been widely planted in cool and temperate regions of North American where it typically matures to a much shorter 40-60' (less frequently to 100') tall. It is noted for its rapid growth. Primary branches are slightly upturned but secondary branches become pendulous as the tree matures. Branches are clad with spirally-arranged, four-sided, needle-like, deep green leaves which are attached at their bases to tiny pegs. Cylindrical seed bearing cones (to 9" long) are pendulous. In excess of 150 cultivars (mostly dwarf) have been named over the years. Cultivars can be very difficult to distinguish.

Genus name is reportedly derived from the Latin word pix meaning pitch in reference to the sticky resin typically found in spruce bark.

Specific epithet refers to its similarity to the genus Abies (fir).

‘Acrocona’ is a cultivar that is noted for producing showy immature red cones at the branch ends (acro meaning at the end) in spring. Cones are abundant in early years. Cones mature to tan by summer. This small conifer typically grows as a broad upright-spreading shrub, but may grow as a small tree. Ten year growth is in the area of 5-10’ tall. Trees will mature to about 20’ tall over time. Dark green needles.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Canker, wood decay, needle cast and rust may occur. Watch for aphids, bagworms, budworms and borers. Red spider mites can be troublesome.

Garden Uses

Evergreen tree for large lawns, parks or woodland areas. Effective screen or windbreak in cold northern climates. Many dwarf cultivars of this species are available for foundation and rock garden plantings.

Specimen/accent around the home.