Colorado Blue Spruce PICEA PUNGENS ERICH FRAHM

Description & features

British Grown - The British Grown logo denotes plants and trees that have been both propagated and grown in the UK. Read more

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British Grown - The British Grown logo denotes plants and trees that have been both propagated and grown in the UK. Read more

Product description

Characteristics

Of the blue silvery coniferous trees the blue spruces are some of the most handsome.  Erich Frahm is a selection raised in Elmshorn, near Hamburg in Northern Germany.  It is of conical habit and has deep blue leaves throughout the year.  It will ultimately make a tree of at least 10m (30ft) tall and 5m (15ft wide, though its compact habit makes it a popular Christmas tree.


Where to grow

Will grow in most garden situations and is not particularly fussy as to soil type.


Did you know?

Picea pungens is very variable in the degree of glaucousness (Blue bloom) of its needles.  A batch of seedlings will have many shades.  The most striking with blue or silvery leaves have been perpetuated by grafting and named.  The oldest known clone descends from a tree that grew in Professor Sargent’s garden at Harvard.  This tree came from seeds sent by Charles Parry who collected the them from Colorada in 1861.  Cuttings came to the UK with Anthony Waterer during a visit to the Arnold Arboretum in 1877 and distributed by the Knapp Hill Nursery.
 

Features

Mature height
Small - 5-10 metres
Spread
0-5 metres
Shape / habit
Conifer
Growth rate
Slow
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
Full sun
Difficulty / hard to grow
Medium
Evergreen / Deciduous
Evergreen
Season of interest
Autumn
Winter
Spring
Summer
Leaf
Silver/Blue
Moisture levels
Drought tolerant
Uses
Screening
Parkland Tree
Garden Tree
City/Urban Sites

Features

Mature height
Small - 5-10 metres
Spread
0-5 metres
Shape / habit
Conifer
Growth rate
Slow
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
Full sun
Difficulty / hard to grow
Medium
Evergreen / Deciduous
Evergreen
Season of interest
Autumn
Winter
Spring
Summer
Leaf
Silver/Blue
Moisture levels
Drought tolerant
Uses
Screening
Parkland Tree
Garden Tree
City/Urban Sites

Aftercare

For the continued healthy growth of your trees, shrubs or hedging it is vital that you follow the advice below.

Watering

The main reason that plants die within 12 months of having been planted is lack of water.  It is essential throughout the spring and summer, to give a heavy enough watering to enable the water to penetrate right down to the deepest root level of the tree.  In hot dry spells give the equivalent of 2 bucketfuls every three days.

Weed Control

One of the most common causes of lack of water is competition from grass.  When trees are first establishing, the grass roots would be at the same level as the tree roots and are far more efficient at taking up water and thus choke the tree.  It is vital for 3 years after planting that your tree or hedge has a circle or strip one  metre wide completely free of grass.  The way to eliminate grass in order of effectiveness is:

  1. Spray off the grass with a glyphosate based weed killer such as Roundup.  Apply each year for the first 3 years.  It is best applied when the tree is dormant as it is absorbed through green leaves and kills the plant off at the roots.
  2. Firmly fit a mulch mat around the base of the tree by tucking the edges into the soil and put a thick layer of bark mulch on top of this.  This can be done after the initial spraying with glyphosate and should avoid the need for further spraying.

Mowing or strimming is NOT an answer to the problem.  Each time you mow, the grass will grow back more vigorously and strimming invariably leads to lacerated trunks.

Staking

If trees are not correctly secured they will rock in the planting pit. Roots not firmly in contact with the soil are unable to take up moisture and nutrients, resulting in die back or death of the tree.  Check, particularly after windy weather, that stakes are still solidly in the ground keeping the base of the trunk firm.  The purpose of the stakes is to anchor the roots.   Flexing in the wind, higher up the trunk, is not necessarily a problem if the roots are firm.

Bellow is list of the correct system to use to secure your trees.

  • 40/60, 60/80, 80/100 whips - Unless rabbit/deer problem no need to stake.
  • 100/125, 125/150  1.2m Cane and Easi tie.
  • 150/175  1.2m square stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • 175/250, 6/8, 8/10 15L 1.65 Tree stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • All larger trees. 2 x 1.65 Tree stake and cross rail with 38mm cushion spacer and 1m of 38mm strapping.

Ties

Always use our recommended tree ties or strapping.  These are designed and manufactured with the correct amount of give to hold the tree firm without strangling it. They should be checked at the end of each growing season for adjustment as the trunk thickens.  Non proprietary materials such as baler twine will cut into the bark and should not be used.

Protection from Animal Damage

Rabbits, deer, sheep, cattle and horses can all potentially damage trees.  Ask us for advice on the most appropriate guards for your trees or hedge.  Squirrels are also a terrible pest when trees get to about 20ft tall but there is no protection available.


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