In what seems to be a real case of an alien force taking over a life form on Earth, one of Giroud Tree and Lawn’s ISA Certified Arborist Mike Chenail ran into a rather curious Dwarf Alberta Spruce tree the other day that was too interesting to simply glance over. While Dwarf Alberta Spruce makes their homes in countless flowerbeds across the nation as a great decorative plant, this one presented a very rare condition that is barely ever seen. Thttps://www.giroudtree.com/?gclid=CP3riMT4udACFRlMDQodVPMLGQhe tree was growing two different kinds of branches! After being a little taken aback by the rare sight, Mike immediately knew what the cause was.
Dwarf Alberta Spruce is a variety of Alberta White Spruce trees found in the Rocky Mountains up in Alberta, Canada, which can grow over 100 feet tall. Through trade and distribution throughout the world centuries ago, some varieties planted in different regions in the world dwarfed in size to their ancestors in order to acclimate to new climates. Eventually, with the help of even more refinement through selective breeding by humans, the Dwarf Alberta Spruce came into existence as the decorative tree we know and love today. Shaped like a mini Christmas tree, these tiny trees grow only a few meters tall; a far cry from their ancestors.
So what makes the Dwarf Alberta Spruce grow giant branches? A process called reversion essentially brings out the recessive ancestral genes of the tree. For example: if a married couple’s family’s all have brown eyes going back 4 generations, chances are their baby will also have brown eyes. However, if one ancestor 5 generations ago had blue eyes, the recessive blue eye gene may cause the baby to develop blue eyes. But in the case of this dwarfed tree, the recessive gene can present itself any time throughout its life, however it is more common for it to present its ancestral traits later on in its lifecycle.
While this looks very cool, and is certainly something very rare, unfortunately the reversion needs to be trimmed in order to ensure the health and beauty of the dwarf tree. The reverted branch will grow rapidly like a normal spruce tree’s branch would while the rest of the tree will grow at its naturally slow pace. Eventually the branch can overtake the entire tree and soon you’ll have more and more branches following suit. By simply trimming the reverted branch, you should be able to eliminate the growth altogether to keep enjoying your Dwarf Alberta Spruce for years to come.