Silly question?

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by Margot, Sep 6, 2023.

  1. Margot

    Margot Renowned Contributor 10 Years

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    I am wondering if leaving low-wattage Christmas mini-lights constantly on on my Picea glauca 'Conica' for 5 weeks last year could have somehow led to a couple of anomalies that have shown up since. First was that one branch near the top reverted to normal spruce growth (since removed) and now I notice it is developing a double leader. I'm not sure what to do about that. The tree is about 5 feet tall now.

    This is probably just a coincidence but I can't help wonder if there could be a connection. Any thoughts?

    Picea glauca 'Conica' 1.jpg
     
  2. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    https://richmond.com/gardening-q-a-...cle_313980b9-6fb9-5a07-8bf5-d763c58c8d28.html

    The best approach is to prune out the errant branches, the sooner the better. In addition to the larger branch habit, they tend to be more vigorous and can take over the plant. It is best to remove the branch by cutting back as close to the point of origin without damaging the main trunk. The plant may continue to send these out from time to time, so keep after them.

    https://www.purdue.edu/hla/sites/yardandgarden/remove-errant-branches-to-save-weird-tree/
     
  3. Margot

    Margot Renowned Contributor 10 Years

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    Yes, I did that weeks ago. My question is about whether electricity could somehow have precipitated that reversion as well as the dual leaders now growing.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    'Conica' reverts pretty frequently.
     
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  5. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yep, this is normal. Personally, I'd keep the adult growth and let it develop into a mature White Spruce, then you'll get the very attractive cones, which you won't on a plant kept in juvenile growth.
     
  6. Margot

    Margot Renowned Contributor 10 Years

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    You jest! This dwarf spruce would eventually become too large for the spot where it's growing if I let it go. As for the cones . . . have you ever had a spruce cone land on your head? I have. Those things drop like bullets. They may be attractive but they hurt!
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    You might be thinking of Norway spruce cones.
     
  8. Margot

    Margot Renowned Contributor 10 Years

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    Probably - my dad planted a long spruce hedge in the 1950s, intending to keep it trimmed. He didn't and the trees were at least 30 feet tall when my husband and I bought the place next door in the 1970s. At this time of year, the Stellar Jays would nip off the cones to make them easier to eat on the ground. It was dangerous to walk underneath.
    The White Spruce cones I see in photos are likely not as big and heavy.
     
  9. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    'Conica' was originally discovered growing wild in Alberta, is listed by some as Picea glauca var. albertiana 'Conica'. With P. g. var. albertiana considered a synonym of P. x albertiana here:

    Picea glauca (white spruce) description (conifers.org)

    In which case the reversions seen popping out of 'Conica' here and there in the occupied landscape would actually have a hybrid makeup.
     
  10. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  11. Sulev

    Sulev Contributor

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    I suppose cosmic rays or background nuclear radiation are more likely cause of such reverting than being exposed to christmas lights.
    Reverting to normal growth happens often for trees, that are not near any christmas lights or electrical wires at all, so there must be some other cause, not exposure to the lamp or electric fields.
     
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  12. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Not even that! Just ordinary weather can do it. Or natural growth hormones. It's part of the plant's normal growing up process, just delayed a bit in this cultivar.
     
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