In honor of Georgia Arbor Day (February 15, 2013), I’m featuring one of my favorite conifers:  Picea orientalis ‘Skylands’ (Skylands Spruce)  

I’ve been using this tree in the southeast for many years, and it remains one of my favorites. I first used it in a subdivision entrance in Braselton, Georgia. It was one of a number of specimen conifers I selected at Iseli Nursery in Boring, Oregon when I went on a buying trip to purchase plants for the subdivision. The trees caused a sensation, to the point where two of the six we installed were stolen in the dead of night within a week. Fortunately we purchased several extras for the project so we were able to replace the stolen trees, but this time we anchored the trees with rebar - using two 6’ lengths, driven at cross angles through the root systems. That seemed to do the trick, and the trees were allowed to mature unmolested in the landscape. 

This Skylands Spruce is from a landscape located in Suwanee, Georgia, that I completed a couple of years ago. It is now loaded with cones, drooping from the branches like earrings on a golden gown.