The American Conifer Society has been selecting some outstanding plants and awarding them with the honorable title of “Conifer of the Year.” Picea orientalis ‘Tom Thumb’ is certainly one honorable plant. This little golden gem is soft to the touch and a delight to the eyes. Its slow growing compact form make it great for use in a trough or other container garden when young. It is also ideal for rock garden use. With its zone 4 hardiness, it ought to be suitable for all but the most extreme cold or hot climates. I’ve noticed it can sunburn, so I’d protect it from the hot afternoon sun, but it will need some good light exposure to bring out the best of its golden yellow tones.
Picea orientalis ‘Tom Thumb’ photo provided by my friends at Iseli Nursery