We get a lot of calls at our office from people needing help identifying a plant in their yard or a disease or insect that is giving them fits in the garden. Often our clients text or email pictures of problems. Imagine our surprise when we saw this!
Our client had a row of Dwarf Alberta Spruces in their back yard, all very uniformed and neat, except for one crazy guy. Her message read:
"There's a tree growing out of my tree. Help?"
After looking at the "new tree" more closely, she realized that this strange tree was actually attached to the original plant. Naturally, her concerns were What is it? Will it spread? How do I get rid of it?
After some quick research, I found out that this phenomenon happens quite frequently. You see, the Dwarf Alberta Spruce, is really a special cultivated variety of White Spruce.
In 1904, Alfred Rehder and John G. Jack noticed some unusual dwarf spruces with very tiny needles while waiting at a train station near Lake Laggan. Alberta. They guessed that a spruce with a witch’s broom had dropped seeds and produced small, compact plants with tight foliage.
As employees of an arboretum, they couldn’t resist collecting their extraordinary find for further study, and so the plant made a cross-continental journey with them. Thus began the horticultural tale of one of the most familiar and conspicuous plants in cultivation—the dwarf, slow-growing evergreen known popularly as dwarf Alberta spruce.
The most interesting thing about this botanical marvel is that occasionally (5 out of 100 times) this plant will partially revert part to its parent plant.
Not to worry though, this type of reversion DOESN'T spread, so our client won't need to worry about the rest of her plantings.
Experts recommend cutting off the new growth as soon as possible to avoid damage to the surrounding branches. Once removed, a gap in the foliage may occur. This can be unsightly and will take some time to fill back in. Give your plant a little extra love with water and fertilizer as it works hard to regrow.
So that's it! Mystery solved! If you have other horticulture questions or ideas for blog topics, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.