Picea glauca ‘Conica’
Dwarf Alberta Spruce
Masonic Village Arboretum, 1 Masonic Drive, Elizabethtown PA (near formal gardens)
Big tree enthusiasts don’t usually include dwarf species in their area of focus, and it might seem a contra- diction to do so. That said, the Pennsylvania champion Dwarf Alberta Spruce is almost certainly at Masonic Village. In 2018 this Lilliputian giant was almost 18 feet tall with a trunk circumference (at 2 feet high) of about 50 inches and a spread of about 12 feet.
As is often the case with older specimens of ‘Conica’, this individual is also “reverting” by developing normal adult foliage that grows faster than the tree’s otherwise slow-growing juvenile foliage (see the tree's upper left in the second photo). [For an explanation of genetic reversion, see the Dwarf Alberta Spruce entry for Arbor Harbor.]
This amazing species (i.e., White Spruce) has roots whose growth patterns are highly adaptable rather than genetically fixed, and which vary according to soil moisture, soil fertility, and mechanical impedance.