Revisiting an old and reliable friend

One of the first conifers I wrote about, nearly five years ago when I began this blogging adventure, was Picea pungens ‘Sester Dwarf’. My own specimen was fairly young (in conifer years) in my garden and the oldest one I had ever seen was growing in the Jean Iseli Memorial Garden at Iseli Nursery. Over the past five years, my small tree has filled out nicely and seems very happy in my garden. During my recent visit to Iseli, I was drawn to the wonderful old specimen of this slow-growing blue spruce with its symmetrical form, compact habit a bright blue color.

Picea pungens 'Sester Dwarf'
Of course, I have seen this same plant on many occasions over the past five years, but the sun, in its lower autumn position, must have been hitting it just right, because it seemed to stand out more prominently than I had noticed in the past.

I have always been impressed with this beautiful blue tree, from the time many years ago when I saw a row of them growing in the field under evaluation at Iseli, to the time I finally obtained my first little plant, and especially during that recent visit as I gazed upon the elegant beauty of this dwarf conifer. It is trees such as this that inspired my early love of dwarf conifers back when I was but a young lad just beginning my journey into the amazing world of conifers.

The specimen pictured above is nearly eleven feet tall and about five feet across its fairly uniform breadth. Putting on six to eight inches of new vertical growth per year, I am going to presume that this tree is approximately 25 years old, making it perfect for just about any of today’s smaller gardens.

Perfect conical shape, tremendously hardy (USDA Zone 2), brilliant blue color, slow-growing and behaves well in a container for many years; I simply can’t think of a reason more folks don’t have at least one of these pretty trees in their gardens.

Ed-
Conifer Lover

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