Serbian spruce with a weeping crown is very popular and expensive. The high price is due to the fact that they do not propagate by cuttings or seeds - only by grafting. In addition, domestic nurseries are just mastering the operation and cannot saturate the market. Serbian spruce Pendula was first described by German botanists Fritz Kurt Alexander von Schwerin in 1920. The only thing known for certain about the origin of the variety is that it originated in Europe.
Description of the Serbian Pendula spruce
The status of the Serbian spruce Pendula (Picea omorika Pendula) as a separate variety is being questioned by experts. This is stated in the 1993 Humphrey Welch and Gordon Haddow World Conifers Checklist and elsewhere. Scientists believe that the Serbian spruce Pendula is a collective name for plants belonging to the species with a weeping crown shape. They have significant (from the point of view of botanists) differences, and should be attributed to different varieties.
Spruce weeping Pendula, like all weeping forms, does not have a trunk. He is "brought up" from an arbitrarily chosen strong shoot, constantly tied to a support, and is called a leader or guide. Therefore, it is necessary to speak carefully about the height of the drooping forms. What do growers and gardeners mean: the length of the conductor or how much does the Serbian Pendula spruce rise above the soil surface? It would be nice to consider this issue in detail.
If a good conductor is chosen, and is constantly tied to a solid support, the Serbian Pendula spruce will form a narrow conical tree with flexible branches hanging along the "trunk". They grow so densely, forming an impenetrable canopy that it is impossible to see the leader's bark.
As can be seen in numerous photos of the Serbian Pendula spruce, an adult tree resembles a column rather than a cone, even if it is narrow. If grown with the constant tying of the leader. With this formation, by the age of 10, Pendula reaches 3 m in height with a width of 1 m.Eyearly, the size increases by 10-15 cm. In width, the Serbian spruce grows more slowly, adding 5-10 cm. But the side branches are tightly pressed to the leader, and a visual the effect that the volume builds up worse.
After 10 years, Pendula begins to grow faster, and by the age of 30, the length of the central conductor reaches 10 m.Of course, if the branch is tied tightly, it was not broken and there were no scraps. After 30 years, the Serbian spruce continues to grow, but slowly. The largest size of a tree tied to a support, known and included in special literature, is 15 m.
When the Serbian Pendula spruce is formed as a column, the crown width reaches a maximum of 3 m (after 30 years). Usually it does not exceed 2 m in an adult tree.
Important! In Russia, the size of the Serbian Pendula spruce is more modest, and it grows more slowly.
Usually weeping forms without support lie on the ground, and continue life, becoming like a ground cover plant. Not that Serbian Pendula spruce. If you do not deliberately bend it to the ground, the center conductor is pulled up. True, he chooses a "winding path" for this. The trunk is bizarrely bent, which is why it is impossible to find two identical Pendul not tied to the support.
To close the question about the nature of tree growth, a few words should be said about the support. If gardeners want to grow tall, straight Serbian Pendula spruce, there is no need to look for a long, thick stick somewhere. It is enough to have 2-3 straight strong rods on the farm.
Over time, the leader lignifies, and from a flexible thin shoot turns into a powerful thick branch. Then the support can be untied - the Serbian spruce will not bend anywhere. And fit to the top. Thus, when growing Pendula, 2-3 rods are used at the same time.
The needles of the Serbian Pendula spruce are greenish-blue, flat, 8-18 mm long. The bark is reddish-gray, shallow but powerful root system. Bumps are rare.
For different forms of Pendula, the recommended growing zones without shelter vary - from 4 to 2. So it is better to clarify this issue when buying a spruce. Resistance to urban conditions is high.
Serbian spruce Pendula Bruns
This form of Pendula spruce is more common in landscape design and is better described. The variety was selected in 1955 by the Bruns nursery located in the commune of Bad Zwischenahn, Germany.
Serbian spruce Pendula Bruns is a coniferous tree, reaching 1.5-3 m by 10 years with a vertical garter.The seasonal growth of the leader is 15-30 cm, the lateral shoots increase by 15-20 cm.A rigidly tied tree looks like a column or is very narrow pyramid with lowered branches pressed to the trunk. By the age of 30, it can reach 10 m.
If the Omorica Pendula Bruns spruce is not tied up, at first it stretches up, then the conductor begins to bend. So there are no two identical specimens grown without support. The lower branches, without pruning, lie on the ground, and form a kind of skirt.
Important! Until the conductor reaches a height of 1.5-2 m, it is recommended to tie it up.
Pendula Bruns spruce differs from the original form by its intensive growth, more lush dense needles, from above - dark green, from below - bluish, which creates an interesting visual effect. The length of the needles is up to 2 cm. Young needles are light green. Frost resistance zone 2-7 (according to Jan Van der Neer).
Spruce Omorica Pendula Cook
Serbian spruce Pendula Kuk is very similar to Bruns, but grows slower and lower. The increase in the leader for the season is 5-10 cm, the maximum length of the central conductor after 30 years is up to 10 m, but often does not exceed 5 m. It is the last figure that should be guided by in Russia.
The center conductor does not want to grow vertically from the very beginning. If not tied up, the tree will begin to curve just above the graft site. Over several seasons, the Pendula Cook variety forms a remarkably gnarled tree with drooping branches. Its crown is often called "dancing".
The color and size of the needles is the same as that of the Bruns variety: young - light green, mature - green with a blue tint. But the branches of the Serbian spruce Pendula Kuk are thinner and weaker, but not so much that without a garter the tree falls on the ground and looks like a ground cover plant. Frost resistance for Russia is low - zone 5, that is, an area where temperatures below -28 ° C have not been recorded in the entire history of observations.
Spruce Pendula in landscape design
Serbian Pendula spruce with a curved crown is used in romantic and landscaped gardens. It looks great in a single planting against the background of a lawn or flower bed. The Serbian Pendula is planted in the foreground of large and small arboreal landscape groups.
Spruce, tied tightly to the support, can make up an alley. Planted in a landscape group, a tree as straight as an arrow will serve as a great vertical accent.
Serbian Pendula will appeal to all lovers of exotic. It is simply irreplaceable when planning exotic gardens, it will help out where you need to distract attention from something.
By manipulating the garter and supports, you can create a fantastic plant from Pendula spruce. It will grow tall and slender, leaning to one side or curving in different directions. In addition, no one forces you to tie the support strictly vertically: you can use several at once, and guide not only the leader, but also the side branches.
Planting and caring for the Serbian Pendula spruce
For all its exotic appearance, the Serbian Pendula spruce is an easy plant to care for, at least when compared to other members of the picea genus. She tolerates urban conditions well, is not too demanding on the soil, has excellent health and is rarely damaged by pests.
Seedling and planting plot preparation
Serbian Pendula spruce is planted in a sunny location, but can be placed in partial shade. She prefers acidic or slightly acidic loose loams, but she will put up with neutral soil, however, she will not feel in the best way.
When preparing the planting mixture, high moor peat is almost always added to the substrate - it not only normalizes the pH level, but also improves the structure of the soil. Stones, if they are in the soil, do not need to be removed - Serbian spruce grows in the mountains and will treat favorably their presence in the earthen mixture.
The pendula will grow quite large, and its central conductor, although strong, is only in comparison with other weeping spruces, the root system is superficial. Therefore, the planting site must be protected from strong winds, otherwise it will simply uproot the tree.
When choosing seedlings of Serbian Pendula spruce, imported ones should be taken in plastic containers. Domestic ones can be bought with a sheathed earthen lump.
The grafting site for the Serbian Pendula spruce should be well spliced, intact, the needles should be fresh and firm. Otherwise, the tree may not take root or quickly die. The needles should be in good condition for at least the last three years. If they began to crumble, partially dried up, you do not need to take the Serbian spruce. Even the reddened tips of the needles should make you refuse to buy.
Sometimes, instead of the expensive Pendula, they try to sell another spruce. Small trees do not always look like adults, and unscrupulous traders take advantage of this. It is impossible to insure yourself for all occasions, but when buying, you need to pay attention to the following points:
- Serbian Pendula spruce, even the smallest one, four years old, is always sold with support. This is done because the leader is formed, albeit from a strong, but still a branch. It can easily break during transportation, tree care in the nursery, when buyers are considering the goods. Producers will not risk it, and always grow Pendula spruce tied to a support.
- An unvaccinated tree cannot be a weeping spruce. Even if the branches are down and the trunk is bent. Any tree can be dangling by using stretch marks and bending the shoots to the ground. On small spruce trees, the operation is not so laborious. And weeping forms are expensive. The owners will plant a tree on the site, in the absence of spacers, it will straighten the branches, and a spruce of the usual shape will grow, only a curve.
- Rooted Pendulas do not exist. If you root the cuttings of the Serbian hanging spruce, trees will grow, only inclined to form a weeping crown. That is, in an ordinary tree, the branches will be located at a different angle, or several branches will look down. Such a spruce will have nothing to do with varietal.
Pendula container spruces can be planted at any time, but this should not be done in the summer. Unless the weather is cool, cloudy, and should not change in the next 2 weeks. If we talk about the best time for planting, then in the south it is autumn, in cold regions it is spring.
In the pit for the Serbian Pendula spruce, the substrate is completely changed only on dense alkaline soils. For this, a mixture of sod land, sour peat, sand, clay and leaf humus is prepared.
On others, the soil is simply improved if necessary:
- with an alkaline or neutral reaction of the soil, horse (sour) peat is added;
- overly light sandstones are made denser with clay;
- the structure of poorly permeable soil is improved with leaf humus and sod soil;
- on the blockers, a drainage layer is made, 1.5-2 times more than the recommended one, or an embankment is built.
The planting hole for the Serbian Pendula spruce is dug 2 weeks or earlier so that the soil has time to sink and the root collar of the Serbian spruce does not collapse. The size of the recess should be about 1.5-2 times the root with a lump of earth. Therefore, it is better to immediately make it volumetric. The depth is needed so that the drainage (15-20 cm), soil (layer up to 10 cm) and the spruce root can fit in it.
After the planting hole has been dug, drainage is laid, 2/3 of the remaining volume is covered with a prepared substrate mixed with nitroammophos (up to 150 g). Pour in water.
There is nothing special in the very planting of the Serbian Pendula spruce - any gardener can handle it. To avoid mistakes, you need to follow a few rules:
- prepare the hole in advance so that the soil subsides;
- plant the Serbian Pendula together with the support;
- do not remove the burlap from the sheathed earthen lump;
- monitor the position of the root collar - it should coincide with the ground level or be slightly higher (by 2-3 cm);
- compact the soil poured during planting spruce so that voids do not form;
- water Pendula abundantly, spending at least 10 liters per small tree, or a bucket of water for every 1 m of the length of the central conductor for large-sized ones;
- to mulch the land under the Serbian spruce.
Watering and feeding
After planting, watering the Serbian Pendula spruce is necessary often, not allowing the earthen coma to dry out, but avoiding swamping and stagnation of water. In the future, moisturizing should become rare, but abundant and regular. With each watering, the same amount of water is consumed per tree as when planting. In hot summer, soil moistening is carried out every week.
Important! Frequent poor watering will not do the Serbian Pendula spruce.
Sprinkling the crown in hot weather is mandatory, better - daily. This prevents the needles from drying out, washes away the dust and prevents the appearance of many pests, primarily the spider mite. In warm weather, it is advisable to spray the crown several times a week.
It is necessary to feed young Pendula 2 times per season, as well as large-sized animals in the first 2 years after planting. Mature trees (after 10 years) are desirable. Fertilizers are used specialized for coniferous crops. They are released separately for spring and autumn.
Foliar dressing allows the Serbian Pendula spruce to receive the necessary trace elements, since they are poorly absorbed through the root. They are done no more than 2 times a month, adding epin or zircon to the balloon. Magnesium sulfate is useful for pine needles, especially in urban conditions. It is added in addition to water-soluble fertilizers containing a full set of trace elements, or a chelate complex.
Mulching and loosening
Serbian Pendula spruce does not tolerate trampling of soil in the root area. In the first years, it is regularly loosened, especially after watering or rain, in the future it is replaced with mulching. For weeping spruce trees, covering the soil with sour peat or pine bark is of great importance:
- creates a suitable microclimate;
- prevents weeds from germinating;
- retains moisture;
- improves the absorption of nutrients;
- protects the root from overheating.
The Serbian spruce Pendula does not need pruning, but it tolerates a haircut well. For sanitary purposes, all dry and broken branches are removed. Formative pruning is usually limited to the removal or shortening of the lower shoots that lie on the ground. But often they are left as they are, placing pine bark under the branches to avoid contact with the ground.
Preparing for winter
In the first two years after planting, the Serbian Pendula must be covered by wrapping the tree in white spandbond and securing it with twine. At the same time, the soil is covered with a thick layer of high-moor peat. In the spring it is not harvested, but embedded in the soil.
Then the spruce can winter without shelter in zone 4 and higher. Only the vaccination site is protected, if for some reason it is not covered with a canopy of branches.
Serbian Pendula spruce, like all drooping forms, is propagated only by grafting. Even specialists from domestic nurseries rarely carry out this operation, and most of the planting material comes from abroad. Lovers of conifers cannot be vaccinated.
Diseases and pests
All Serbian ate, including Pendula, are very healthy. If you plant a tree correctly, take care of it regularly, diseases and pests rarely appear.
Serbian Pendula can be affected by insects that are destroyed with insecticides:
- a spruce sawmill;
- butterfly nun (caterpillars);
- spider mite;
- spruce leaf roll;
Diseases are treated with fungicides, it should be highlighted:
- wound cancer;
In order to minimize the harm caused by pests and diseases to the Serbian Pendula, the spruces are regularly examined, paying great attention to the vaccination site.
Reviews of the Serbian spruce Pendula
Leonid Sergeevich Portnov, 40 years old, Atkarsk
I love exotic plants. And what could be more interesting than eating with a drooping crown? I have a small plot, everything that I would like is simply impossible to plant. I chose for a long time, blue thorny spruces with a weeping crown look very beautiful. But when I saw the Serbian Pendula, doubts disappeared immediately. The needles may not be so beautiful, but the tree itself looks fantastic! I planted a 10-year-old tree 5 years ago and every spring I look forward to what direction the central conductor will choose this season. In addition, it is not difficult to care for Serbian spruce trees.
Lyudmila Sergeevna Lazareva, 69 years old, Rostov-on-Don
I have long wanted to plant a spruce tree with a drooping crown in the garden, but they are too expensive for me, a pensioner. But one day, in the garden center, a small Serbian Pendula with a broken top came across - they say it fell unsuccessfully. They sold it to me for next to nothing. I carefully cut off the top, tied another twig to the support, planted it, and waited. For a year Pendula was sitting still - she didn’t live, but she didn’t die either. And then she went into growth so briskly! Now I brag to my neighbors, but they are only surprised at such a beauty.
Serbian spruce Pendula is a beautiful tree with an exotic crown shape, healthy, well adapted to urban conditions. The variety does not require careful maintenance and will be easy to grow even for novice gardeners.