Picea glauca 'Conica'
Dwarf Alberta Spruce
Arbor Harbor, 78 Sun Lane, Millersville PA
Planted 25 years ago in dense formation on a small mound next to a pond, this group of Dwarf Alberta Spruce now forms a Lilliputian forest of 35 trees that stand only 8 feet tall. The trees have limbed themselves up just as they would if growing full-size and densely in a real forest.
One of the trees has reverted to normal White Spruce growth and foliage, as sometimes happens with Conica. This is genetic reversion, in which a section of vigorous growth occurs on what is otherwise a slow-growing, compact plant. Dwarf Alberta Spruce originated in Alberta, Canada as a genetic mutation of the White Spruce. Occasionally a reverse mutation happens and a branch (or more) of the dwarf reverts to the species' normal, more vigorous growth. (For another example, see the entry for the Conica at Masonic Homes.)
This amazing variety (Conica) is the most commonly planted conifer in the entire American landscaping industry.