'Cram' Colorado Spruce
Latin Name: Picea pungens
Native Range: Native to Rocky Mountain region of United States
Seed Source: Colorado spruce shelterbelt, near Indian Head Saskatchewan.
Height and Spread: 18m x 8m
Overview: The 'Cram' seed strain was developed specifically for agroforestry planting in non-boreal regions. This seed strain is characterized by a high percentage of silvery-blue needle coloured seedlings, an upright crown form, cold and drought hardiness, and adaptability to a wide range of growing conditions in the aspen parkland. The strain was named in honour of Bill Cram, Indian Head Tree Nursery superintendent from 1958 to 1978.
Seeds: Dark brown, winged 2-4 mm long. About 230 seeds per gram.
SEED TREATMENT / SOWING
Stratification: No stratification required. Water soak 24 hours before sowing.
Ideal sowing time: Spring; Non-pretreated seed outdoors in May.
Sowing instructions: Sow 1.0 cm deep, 50 seeds/meter; Greenhouse - sow 3 seeds per cell.
Growing conditions: 'Cram' Colorado spruce grows on a wide variety of soils but favours loamy soils with a pH of 5.0 to 7.0. It is shade tolerant but grows best in a sunny exposure.
'Cram' Colorado spruce is used in farmstead shelterbelts. The dense shallow roots make it useful for soil stabilization and erosion control on moist sites. Its dense coniferous crown provides excellent habitat for songbirds and thermal cover for mammals. The silvery-blue foliage makes this seed-propagated cultivar aesthetically pleasing.