Conditions for Growing Serbian Spruce Trees

With a slender trunk and rather short branches that sweep upwards, the Serbian spruce develops into a narrow pyramid. Slowly maturing 50 to 60 feet tall and 10 to 20 feet wide, its needles are lustrous dark green with two thin stripes of white on the their undersides. The tree is widely adaptable in its growing requirements and since it is such an attractive looking tall conifer warrants more landscape use, according to Dr. Michael Dirr of the University of Georgia.


Serbian spruce is best grown in U.S. Department of Agriculture winter hardiness zones 4 through 7. This means the tree needs a cold winter climate where annual low temperatures reach 0 to -30 degrees Fahrenheit. Using Sunset climate zone designations, which are more accurate in the variable elevations of western North America, Serbian spruce is best grown in zones 2b through 7 and 14 through 17. According to the American Horticultural Society, it prospers in climates where no more than 120 days of heat warmer than 86 degrees occurs each summer.


The Missouri Botanical Garden recommends planting a Serbian spruce in a moist, fertile soil that has good drainage. It is quite tolerant of landscape soils that are slightly less fertile or tend to be a bit on the dry side overall. An alkaline soil (pH above 7.0) is the best environment, but it tolerates slightly acidic soil, too. This tree grows equally well in sandy, loam or clay soils.


Plant a Serbian spruce in a full sun to partial shaded exposure in the garden. It can receive over 10 hours of direct sun rays daily, or only four hours, as in a woodland environment. Ample sunlight develops the best shaped branching structure and overall appearance. Do consider siting this species of spruce where it is shielded from wind. Although it is among the most tolerant of all spruces to warm humid summers, according to North Carolina State University, it is best where ambient humidity isn't high.

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About this Author

James Burghardt has written for "The Public Garden," "Docent Educator," nonprofit newsletters and for horticultural databases, becoming a full-time writer in 2008. He's gardened and worked professionally at public and private gardens in Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. He has written articles for eHow and GardenGuides.