found this nice spruce along a smooth facing silty gravel bank. I love the movement I the trunk but there are strange growths pin the tips of the branches. dots anyone know what it is? three weren’t other trees close with the problem. is it a deal breaker? lots of pics to illustrate.
If it were you I’d leave this tree, the roots look impossible to access and the tree has done a fantastic job of living in those conditions, let it continue to do so, a lot of nurser spruce have a nice bend in the trunk like that and similar girth.
Looks like an insect gall
unfortunately there isn’t much availible for grown trees where I am in Northern alberta. I think part of my interest is in using native species but wouldn’t mind using something nurse grown.
The tree LOOKS like a easy collect. If it’s on public property… The growth LOOKS like a dead infected needle bundle. Fungus?
I agree with @nmhansen, they look like galls. Here in New Mexico, the Blue and Engelman Spruces have galls caused by an adelgid that starts out on Douglas Firs. If you have no Doug Firs in your collection, the life cycle is interrupted and the galls stop forming. If I get a Doug Fir, I’ll probably spray it. You should research galls on your spruce species to see what the offending insect’s life cycle is. Start with Wikipedia.
It looks like a very difficult collection to me. I would wager that that tree is a lateral root from another tree that found daylight on the embankment and grew up. As such it will not have much fine roots of its own, and the rootball needed for survival will need to be quite large. I like the look of the tree but not the condition of the soil, and the chances of survival. I’m all for collecting native species but I’d say keep looking.
I’m not saying it’s an easy collect, but that seems like a big assumption that it is growing from another spruces roots. I’ve never heard that suckering from the roots was a thing that spruce did. But would love to be enlightened. At the very least what could make this a difficult to collect tree is some giant tap root going into the hillside. Which has grown out of necessity to be able to attach itself to that steep hillside. But yea either theory, I’m betting there probably aren’t much feeder roots near the surface as well.
I’m Canadian too, agree with the native species, there’s a white spruce cultivar called dwarf alberta spruce that can be nice to work with, that’s for sure. We just have to consider the ethics of collecting is all
thanks forn the replies. i was able to find that it was affected by the eastern spruce gall adelgid.
it looks like this specimen will be left to live peacefully on the roadside.