I thought that we would look at Weeping Norway Spruce or Picea abies ‘Pendula’ today. If you are looking for a specimen tree that offers year round interest this could be the plant for you. It has many of the items that you would look for in a specimen: it’s evergreen, eye catching, beautiful in all seasons and serves as a focal point for the garden.
As for the culture of Weeping Norway Spruce, they prefer moist but well-drained soil in full sun to light shade. They are hardy from Zones 2-8 so there isn’t a Mid-Atlantic winter that they can’t successfully pull through. They are generally pest free and once established, are very little trouble at all. One thing you will have to determine (if the nursery hasn’t already done it for you) is whether you want an upright tree or a low mounding form. If you opt for the upright version, you’ll have to stake and train an upright leader so that the plant knows you want it to grow up instead of out. Most of the time, when you select your tree from the nursery it will already be in one of the two forms and so your decision will be made for you. Don’t fret over having to keep it staked and growing upright once you get it home…it will play a great game of follow the leader (get it? that’s horticultural humor at its finest).
If allowed to grow into an upright plant, it will ultimately reach a height of 15′ or so but that will be after many years of growth. The tree in the pictures here has been in the ground for approximately 5 years and it has not added much height since it’s planting. Let me know if you have any experience with growing Weeping Norway Spruce by leaving me a comment below or e-mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy gardening!