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Spruce Canadian Echiniformis (Echiniformis) - one of the shortest dwarfs among conifers, and at the same time the oldest variety. History has not preserved the exact date of its appearance, but it is known that the cultivar originated in France before 1855. Obviously, the somatic mutation "witch's broom", which arose on the species tree, served as the initial material for creating the variety.
Ehiniformis has all the advantages and disadvantages of Canadian firs. She is much easier to care for than most dwarfs. This is due not so much to the greater resistance of the variety to the effects of negative factors, but to the shape of the tree itself. It makes many operations unnecessary or impossible.
Description of Canadian spruce Ehiniformis
Ehiniformis is an old variety of Canadian Spruce (Picea glauca), about which it is only known for certain that it appeared in the middle of the 19th century in France, presumably from the "witch's broom". A young tree grows in the form of a hemisphere, and grafted onto a low stem - like a ball of regular shape. Over time, the crown of the Canadian Echiniformis spruce spreads to the sides and becomes flattened, cushion-shaped. Unless, of course, you do not correct it by cropping.
Up to 10 years old, Ehiniformis spruce each season adds 2-4 cm and reaches a height of 40 cm and a width of 60 cm.By the age of 30, the tree size is about 60 cm, the crown width is 100 cm.With good care, Ehiniformis spruce lives in urban conditions for 50 years ...
Thin short shoots are located radially, that is, they themselves tend to maintain the shape of a ball. The crown of the Canadian spruce Ehiniformis is dense, cones appear on it extremely rarely, the needles 5-7 mm long are rather tough, prickly, green with a gray or bluish tint. The root system is well developed, but extends not in depth, but in breadth.
The Canadian spruce Ehiniformis often gives a reversion - a reverse mutation. Among the short shoots with small needles, branches of the usual size appear. They need to be cut as early as possible to maintain the variety.
Photo of Canadian spruce Ehiniformis
Use in landscape design
Ehiniformis is an old and fairly common variety of Canadian spruce, widely used in landscape design. It is traditionally planted in rock gardens, rockeries, and other miniature conifers and heathers are considered the best neighbors.
The spruce looks good on flower beds and ridges framed by ground covers. In order not to block the view, Ehiniformis is planted in the foreground in landscape groups and flower beds.
The plant is great for decorating slopes or terraced areas. You can place the Canadian Ehiniformis spruce in containers, it looks especially impressive in low flowerpots.
What you can't do is keep the crop as a houseplant, despite its diminutive size. It is allowed to bring it indoors for several days to decorate the holiday, but no more.
Sometimes you can find recommendations to plant the Canadian Ehiniformis spruce as a lawn. Even if someone decides to buy enough seedlings to fill a large space, it will not look very attractive. In addition, you cannot walk on such a lawn.
Planting and caring for Ehiniformis spruce
Ehiniformis is a little easier to care for than other dwarf Canadian spruces. But this does not mean that the plant can be ignored.
Seedling and planting plot preparation
For planting Canadian spruce Ehiniformis, you can choose a flat or flat area. You cannot plant the variety in a lowland - unlike other cultivars, temporary waterlogging of the site will cause a loss of decorativeness, since the lower branches of the plant lie on the ground. In addition, there is a danger of decay of the root collar. Echiniformis will feel good on a hill of artificial origin.
Canadian spruce will grow in partial shade or in full sun. The complete absence of light causes a general oppression of the plant - it will become weaker and more susceptible to infections.
The soil for planting Canadian spruce Ehiniformis should be permeable, loose, sour or slightly acidic. If the soil is not suitable for the crop, you can fix the situation by digging a large planting hole. Standard parameters - diameter about 60 cm, depth - not less than 70 cm.
The drainage layer is made 15-20 cm and covered with sand. The mixture for planting is made up of sod, leafy soil, high-moor peat, clay, sand. Up to 150 g of nitroammophos is added to each planting pit. Then it is covered by 2/3 of the prepared substrate and filled with water.
Canadian spruce Ehiniformis grafted on a bole, for the most part, come to Russia from abroad, they need to be bought in containers. Domestic nurseries can put up for sale seedlings with a root system sheathed with burlap or jute. When buying, you should check the moisture content of the earthen coma.
Ehiniformis spruce with an open root system can only be purchased in the nursery if it is dug up in the presence of the future owner. The root should be immediately wrapped in a damp cloth, or dipped in a clay mash and wrapped tightly with foil.
Close attention should be paid to the needles of the Canadian spruce. If she has a color uncharacteristic for the Ehiniformis variety or red tips, the purchase should be discarded. Such a tree, at best, has damage to the root system or is infected, at worst - not viable.
Before planting, the pit must be allowed to stand for at least two weeks. You can place a container spruce on the site at any time, except for hot months - the tree will not take root well. But it is better to choose spring or autumn for this. If you prepare a hole in advance, Canadian spruce can be planted in the south all winter. In the northern regions, the operation is often postponed to the spring - by the arrival of the heat, Ehiniformis will have time to adapt and put in new roots.
- First, part of the soil is removed from the pit and watered abundantly.
- The seedling is placed in the center, paying attention to the position of the root collar - it should be at ground level or slightly higher.
- The pit is covered with a mixture prepared in advance. They ram, watered.
- The soil under the Canadian spruce Ehiniformis is mulched. In spring, it is better to use pine bark for this, so that the lower branches do not come into contact with the ground.
Watering and feeding
After planting, the Canadian spruce Ehiniformis is often watered so that the soil does not dry out. But waterlogging and constant standing of moisture in the root area should not be allowed. Then the watering is reduced. It is impossible to forget that this is a varietal tree, and not a specific spruce, and to rely on nature, even though in natural conditions the plant only moisturizes rain. During the summer, you may need to water Ehiniformis every week.
For Canadian spruce, air humidity is important. If there is automatic watering on the site, to make your life easier, you can turn it on for 5 minutes daily shortly before dawn. This will successfully replace regular sprinkling. When there is no automatic watering, you need to pour over the spruce crown from the hose. In hot summer they do it every day.
Fertilize the Canadian dwarf spruce Ehiniformis should be a specialized fertilizer. Conifers, especially those belonging to the Pine family, do not react too well to universal feeding - they do not have all the elements necessary for a culture, and the proportions are "not the same."
It is necessary to apply specialized fertilizers strictly following the instructions, keeping in mind that it is better to underfeed any plant than to overfeed. And it is easy for a baby like the Canadian spruce Ehiniformis to give more food than is needed.
Foliar dressing is called fast, since through the needles any substances are immediately delivered to the vegetative organs. Thus, conifers perceive trace elements - they are poorly absorbed through the root. It is best to treat the crown with a solution of a complex of chelates, add additional magnesium sulfate to the cylinder and alternately an ampoule of zircon or epin.
Important! Foliar dressing should not be used more often than once every 2 weeks.
Mulching and loosening
It is problematic to loosen the soil under the native-rooted Canadian spruce Ehiniformis - the lower branches lie on the ground. It is easy to carry out the operation only under a grafted tree, but this must be done carefully, to a shallow depth and only the first 2 years after planting.
In the future, loosening is replaced by mulching. In the spring, the lower branches of the Canadian Echiniformis spruce are carefully lifted, and the soil is covered with pine bark. In the fall, it is removed and replaced with sour peat. At the beginning of the next season, the bark is returned to its place, it is better to buy it in garden centers, where the material is pretreated for pests and diseases.
The crown of the Canadian spruce Ehiniformis is beautiful, and does not need formative pruning. But the variety is prone to reverse mutation (reversion), when a branch of the normal size for a species plant appears on a tiny tree. Here it needs to be removed as quickly as possible.
If the landscape project still requires correction of the crown, the Ehiniformis spruce can be safely cut - it tolerates it well.
The Canadian spruce Ehiniformis has a dense crown due to very short internodes, because the annual growth is only a few centimeters. Without light, needles and old small branches quickly dry out and disintegrate into dust, ticks often start there. Even regular sprinkling will not be able to correct the situation.
Before cleaning the Canadian Echiniformis spruce, you need to take care of protecting your hands, eyes and nasopharynx. The needles irritate the skin, and tiny dried particles of dry bark and needles, getting on the mucous membrane, can even lead to swelling.
During the cleaning, the branches of the Canadian spruce are carefully bred to the sides, and dry needles and easily breaking shoots are removed with gloved hands. Then the litter is carefully collected so that nothing remains under the tree. Sometimes it takes longer than the cleaning itself.
The last stage is the treatment of the crown of the Echiniformis spruce and the soil under it with a fungicide. It is better to use a preparation containing copper for this purpose. During cleaning, no matter how carefully it is carried out, some of the branches will be injured. In order to prevent infection from getting into the wounds, the spruce is literally poured with cuproxate or Bordeaux liquid - the crown should be blue outside and inside.
Important! It makes sense to clean only on a dry crown.
Preparing for winter
The dwarf size of the Canadian Echiniformis spruce makes it possible not to worry too much about its shelter for the winter, even in Siberia, the Urals and the North-West. If the tree is planted in a windless place, or is covered from the prevailing winter air currents by other plants, the crown will still be under the snow.
It is necessary to protect the Canadian spruce Ehiniformis only the first year after planting, in regions with cold winters with little snow, or planted in places where snow is blown out. A small tree can be mulched with peat, and the crown can be covered with a cardboard box with holes made for air access. Or wrap the crown with a white non-woven fabric.
Important! It is necessary to build a shelter no earlier than the temperature drops to -10 ° C.
In the spring, you should not forget to remove the shelter, since for conifers it is more dangerous to dry out the crown than to freeze it. The needles, slightly darkened by low temperatures, usually restore turgor and color after several treatments with epin. Loose branches have to be cut off completely, and badly damaged Canadian spruce can die.
The Ehiniformis variety suffers less from early spring burns than other Canadian spruces, especially if the winter was snowy. The damage to conifers early in the season occurs because the root is not yet able to supply moisture to the upper part of the tree, and the sun's rays cause water to evaporate from the needles and branches.
The crown of Echiniformis spruce is pressed to the ground surface. Often, simultaneously with the evaporation of moisture from the needles, snow melts, which increases the humidity of the air. But this is not always the case, and in order to play it safe, it is better to cover a spruce tree in an open place with a white non-woven cloth or burlap at a bright noon.
In the future, if you turn on automatic watering every day for 5 minutes, or sprinkle in another way, there should be no problems with the Canadian Ehiniformis Spruce. But the tree will react positively to the treatment with epin.
Before embarking on the propagation of the Canadian Ehiniformis spruce, gardeners should clearly understand that this is not an easy task, even for professionals. And they have specially adapted premises and experience.
Advice! If you really want to try your hand at breeding conifers, it is better to start with junipers, and not representatives of the Pine family.
In any case, the Canadian spruce Ehiniformis can be propagated by cuttings or grafting. Cones on the tree rarely appear, species plants are most likely to grow from their seeds. Even if some come out short, they will not resemble the mother's form much.
It is better for amateurs not to mess with vaccinations, but you can try cuttings. But it's better not to hope for success anyway. Rooting shoots is only half the battle. They still need to be brought to a permanent place, and this is still a few years, when any slightest mistake in care will lead to the death of the plant.
Echiniformis spruce cuttings can be taken for rooting all season, but it is easier to do this in the spring. Cut them with a piece of the bark of the older branch. Better to take one completely, and "disassemble" into cuttings.
The lower part of the shoot is freed from needles, treated with a stimulant, and planted in sand, perlite or peat-sand mixture. The substrate and air around the cuttings must be constantly moist. Those branches that have taken root and started growing are transplanted into more nutritious soil. The permanent place of the spruce is determined when lateral shoots appear.
In the old plant Echiniformis, the lower branches lie on the ground, sometimes rooting on their own. The tree practically becomes a colony. But it is difficult to plant such a Canadian spruce, most often when moving to a new place, both the rooted branches and the mother plant die. If we do this, then at the very beginning of the season in the north, and before winter in the south.
Diseases and pests ate with gray Echiniformis
The description and photo of Echiniformis spruce shows that its crown is dense and literally pressed against the surface of the ground. Therefore, diseases are the most dangerous for the tree. The variety is often damaged by the snow cover. In order for the spruce to be healthy, it must be sprayed with copper-containing fungicides at the beginning and end of the season. At the first signs of disease, unscheduled treatment is carried out. Most often, Ehiniformis is affected by:
- wound cancer.
Of the pests, a spider mite must be isolated separately. This small insect often grows inside the crown of the Canadian Echiniformis spruce, if you do not push the branches apart during processing. Sprinkling is the best prevention. If the mite has already appeared, spraying with acaricides is effective. Insecticides destroy other pests:
- a spruce saw and a leaf roll;
- caterpillars of the Nun.
Canadian spruce Ehiniformis is one of the lowest growing varieties. The tree forms a dense crown pressed to the ground, which looks beautiful in the frame of other conifers, heathers, flowers or stones.