It’s disappointing to see Dwarf Alberta Spruce being sold by the hundreds at local national chain stores’ garden centers. They’re often displayed right beside well-adapted evergreens like arborvitae, juniper and adapted spruce varieties. I feel sympathetic towards homeowners who buy Dwarf Alberta Spruce, not realizing the neat-looking evergreens aren’t well-suited for our landscapes. Not well-suited is putting it mildly. They usually end up dead.
They are so non-adapted they’re even included on the North Dakota Department of Agriculture Non-Hardy Woody Plants List, which by North Dakota law “must be labeled with the statement NON-HARDY IN NORTH DAKOTA.” Often, though, by the time the state inspector locates the offenders and requires the proper label, many have been sold to unaware customers.
The botanical name of Dwarf Alberta Spruce is Picea glauca ‘Conica.’
Now I just hope the national chains don’t show up on my doorstep to break my kneecaps.