Plant of the month series for Brighton Colorado area landscapes
April: Bruns Serbian Spruce
Bruns Serbian Spruce or Picea omorika ‘Bruns’ is a narrow upright, almost columnar evergreen specimen tree that is great as an accent tree for small spaces, or as a windbreak due to its dense form. Since it grows relatively quickly for an evergreen, it is a great choice when screening is desired in short order. This cultivar of the Serbian Spruce was introduced by the H. Bruns nursery in Germany in 1955 and should not be confused with the weeping variety of the same name. This is the upright cultivar. It reaches maybe 30-35’ but stays around 8-10’ wide, making it great for smaller properties in place of larger Colorado Blue Spruce or similar.
The original of the species, the Serbian Spruce is native to the Drina River valley in western Serbia and eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was originally discovered and named in 1875 on the side of the Tara Mountain in Serbia. It is considered a glacial relict because prior to the Pleistocene Glaciation 2.5 million years ago to 11,700 years ago, it was far more widespread throughout most of Europe. The glaciation shrank its range to the Serbian area and it never repopulated Europe since.
The blue/green undersides to the needles are a distinct giveaway to the species, and it adds striking color combinations to any evergreen garden or landscape. Find a spot for one in your garden today. They are available through local more boutique nurseries, and one is less likely to find them in larger wholesale or commercial nurseries, though they are gaining in popularity. Try it, you’ll like it!
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