We enjoyed our first heat wave after what seemed like an endless weather pattern that was not quite winter and not quite spring. Then, suddenly we found ourselves with temperatures in the 90’s for two days. Today, it’s back to rain, but at least it’s more typical of May in western Oregon with temps in the 60’s rather than the 40’s!
With our crazy weather the past several weeks, the conifers are running a few weeks late with their push of new growth. Even so, they are beginning to “wake up” and the color of their fresh spring growth always brightens my mood. One conifer that gives a double color show this time of year is Picea orientalis ‘Skylands.’
‘Skylands’ is a beautiful golden yellow oriental spruce with short, soft, glossy needles. It forms a very tidy large tree with stunning color all year-round. The first sign of life is during the spring when small reddish pollen cones begin to develop all over the tree adding great color interest. A few weeks later, the buds will break forth with bright yellow foliar growth that is simply stunning. The color of this tree is something you really need to see in person for its full impact. The yellow color seems to intensify through the summer and matures to a rich golden yellow tone in autumn and then fades just a bit to a golden tinged green before the whole process begins again the next spring.
Hardy to Zone 4, great color, tidy large grower, and gives a happy sense of well-being all year long. I love this conifer, and I think you will too!