Weeping Norway Spruce
Characteristics Of The Weeping Norway Spruce
The Weeping Norway spruce is one of several members of the general category of Norway spruces, one of the 7 types of spruce trees found in North America. As the name implies, this tree is not your typical spruce tree. It does not grow tall and straight, nor does it have an attractive pyramid shape. Once the young tree gets to be 3' or so tall, if that high, it begins to dip over. The top droops, the side branches droop, and if you let it, your spruce "tree" will eventually set up shop as a ground cover, though a very attractive and unusual one.
Vertical Or Horizontal, Your Call - The Weeping Norway spruce can be trained to grow upright, though not to anywhere near the same height that most of its cousins attain. As an upright spruce however, it makes a very attractive weeping specimen tree. Left to its own devices, the Weeping Norway spruce will seldom attain a height of more than a couple of feet. But by staking and training it, you can get it to grow quite a bit higher. What the record for the tallest Weeping Norway spruce might be, may not be known, but training the tree to a height of 6' is not an unreasonable goal. If placed against a wall, the branches can also be trained to run away from the trunk and along the wall. This tree seems most attractive though when only the trunk is supported, and the branches are allowed to cascade naturally in all directions.
The Norway spruce is one of 7 types of spruce found in North America. Others include the abundant Sitka spruce, found primarily in the Northwest, coastal Canada and Southeastern Alaska. The Colorado spruce and Colorado Blue spruce are also quite plentiful, and the choice of many for landscaping as well as for Christmas trees (the Weeping Norway spruce would not make a very good indoor Christmas tree, but a specimen tree in the garden could certainly be attractively strung with lights). Other types found in the United States and Canada are the Black Spruce, the White Spruce, and the Serbian spruce.
Planting The Spruce - Growing in USDA Zones 3 through 8, the Weeping Norway spruce should be planted in full sun or partial sun, but not in full shade. The tree will tolerate soils from strongly acidic to mildly alkaline. It is an easy tree to maintain, aside from the need to train or prune it if one so desires. The tree also needs an occasional light watering to be at its best. This tree does not set seeds, and is propagated primarily through grafting. It can make a very attractive container plant, and is well suited to the rock garden. When allowed to hug the ground, the tree can attain a spread of up to 15'.
Like most varieties of spruce tree, the Weeping Norway spruce is reasonably disease and pest free, but can fall victim to spider mites, the spruce gall aphid, and the bud worm. Although the Norway spruce family is one of the fastest growing of the spruce tree types, the Weeping Norway tree is not regarded as being particularly fast growing. Like its cousins though, this variety will normally be quite long lived, so pick a spot in the yard where you'll be able to enjoy it for a long, long time.
If you're considering adding a weeping Norway spruce to your yard or garden, one suggestion is to look at a number of different images of the tree to get a good idea of where it might do best in the yard, and how if might be trained, if that's the approach you want to take.