Picea orientalis 'Early Gold' / Early Gold Caucasian spruce

Picea orientalis 'Early Gold' is a semi-dwarf, tree form of Caucasian spruce with a pyramidal outline, layered, symmetrical branching and foliage that flushes rich creamy yellow in early spring, later turning to species-typical dark green during summer. Its spring foliage push takes place 2 weeks earlier than the similar cultivar 'Aurea' and holds the color for a longer time before fading to green.

After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 6 feet (2 m) tall and 4 feet (1.2 m) wide, an annual growth rate of 6 to 8 inches (15 - 20 cm).

This cultivar originated as a seedling selected in the late 1970s at the John Vermeulen Nursery, Neshanic Station, New Jersey.

Picea orientalis 'Early Gold' This plant appears in the garden and nursery of Edwin Smits, The Netherlands; The Dutch Conifer Society.
Photo by Edwin Smits


Judi Weischedel

We planted a Siberian spruce in nov after getting the front yard redone. It made it thru a freak snow storm and the had some growth. July, now dead we just took it out. Did it get too much water? Now looking for another focal point tree. I like the early gold spruce. Zone 8 , full sun, on clay. Is there another way to plant in clay? What do we do

[Deleted User]

Good score on Siberian spruce; Picea obovata is fairly hard to find in the nursery trade. Hard to say how yours died, as there's no way for us to know how much water it got. Where are you? Zone 8 means many things in different parts of the country.

If you're trying to plant conifers in heavy clay, the only hope for success is to plant on berms created from mineral rich, extremely well draining soil. In the next issue (Summer 2019) of the Conifer Quarterly will be great article on this topic. Be sure to check it out.