Serbian Spruce
Picea omorika

Family: Pinaceae (py-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Picea (PY-see-uh) (Info)
Species: omorika (oh-more-EE-kuh) (Info)

Category:

Conifers

Height:

over 40 ft. (12 m)

Spacing:

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Danger:

N/A

Bloom Color:

Inconspicuous/none

Bloom Time:

N/A

Foliage:

Evergreen

Other details:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Chicago, Illinois

Lisle, Illinois

Poplar Grove, Illinois

West Lafayette, Indiana

Clermont, Kentucky

Georgetown, Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Nicholasville, Kentucky

Paris, Kentucky

Taylorsville, Kentucky

Versailles, Kentucky

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Great Falls, Montana

Ithaca, New York (2 reports)

Richfield, Ohio

Portland, Oregon

Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

West Chester, Pennsylvania

Suffolk, Virginia

Langley, Washington

West Richland, Washington

Marlinton, West Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

4
positives
2
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Mar 21, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

It's all been said below: this is one of the best conifer trees for eastern and midwestern North America. It's more adaptable than most spruces, and tolerates city conditions. It's elegant, and it takes up less ground area than other tall-growing conifers. Its slim profile and relatively slow growth are advantages where space is limited.

The Royal Horticultural Society has granted this species its prestigious Award of Garden Merit.

Neutral

On Jan 31, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

A handsome conifer tree from southeast Europe that is sold by some larger nurseries in the Midwest and East and found occasionally planted here and there by landscape designers and well-to do homeowners. It grows about 1 foot/year and is expensive to buy. It is more graceful than the bigger and much faster growing Norway Spruce that is so commonly planted. Its needles are flat, unlike most spruces, and are shiny dark green above and bluish below.

Positive

On Feb 14, 2008, growin from Beautiful, BC (Zone 9b) wrote:

Commonly planted conifer where space is an issue. They tend to stay under 10' width and I've seen them planted a few feet from buildings. Planted extensively along our raised rapid transit lines for fastigiated growth, low maintenance and evergreen foliage. One of the few conifers used in downtown highrise office tower plantings.

Positive

On Feb 2, 2008, ViburnumValley from Scott County, KY (Zone 5b) wrote:

Serbian spruce is an exceptional conifer worthy of use anywhere it is hardy, and especially in the midwest where limestone-based soils are abundant. This tree is certainly a welcome choice where space is limited, since it takes up only a small footprint at ground level while stretching its trunk skyward.

The upswept branch habit at the tips allows the silvery white undersides of the needles to be seen, creating a two-toned color effect in the landscape. Serbian spruce is often used on the European continent as a border screening plant, where it can even take a certain amount of shearing to make it even narrower.

I have grown this plant for over twenty years, and there are fine specimen plants around central KY and the Ohio River valley region many decades ol... read more

Neutral

On May 25, 2005, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Considered one of the best pruces for ornamental use - especially in the eastern part of the U.S.

Narrow growth habit. May reach up to 90' tall. Cones are a purple-ish color.

Positive

On Apr 29, 2005, macluraspine from Marlinton, WV wrote:

best ornamental spruce for zones 4-7. will burn in winter if exposed to exessive winds, as on ridges and north slopes in wva, but recovers completely. likes moisture but handles dry weather very well. loves limestone soils and rich soil - native to limestone mountains in balkans. steel blue color and pendulous form. grows as fast as blue spruce and far less suseptable to defoliation form ephyxius (sp?). very pollution tollerant for a spruce. reproduces more than norway but less than pines and hemlocks. better for full sun and southern slopes than norway, but not as drought tolerant as blue or balck hills spruce.