Baby Blue Spruce Tree - Planted - IB2DWs Near Sidewalk - October 2023

Conifers Should Come First.  That's a gardening truth.  And, as I admitted last week...a mistake that I've made in our garden.  But, it also points to an opportunity.  Specifically in the IB2DWs extended bed.  I talked about focusing on adding some dwarf conifers in service of my #2 item - adding clustered evergreens - IB2DWs extended.    

As part of my #Fall Planting for 2023, I kind of went ham on dwarf conifers to make up for my past mistakes.  I've sworn off the trees at Home Depot, but when I was confronted with this sign (below), I decided to nose around.  


I found that pallet of blue spruce trees (at the top of this post) that had these tags:  Baby Blue Spruce #7 Container Grown.  See below for the tag showing the $45 price:


Half-off means for $22.50, I get a dwarf, blue conifer.  And, it is container-grown, so I'm pretty sure that means it isn't one of their air-layered conifers that come in burlap bags.  I needed this tree.  In fact...I decided that I needed THREE of them.  This post is about just one of them, though.

But, first....a look at what a Baby Blue Spruce tree is and why I decided to plant it.  The Tree Center has this description for Baby Blue Spruce Trees:
A Blue Spruce is the classic specimen tree for cooler regions, but a tree that can reach 100 feet is not ideal for everyone! If you could get that classic silver-blue foliage and perfect symmetry in a small tree, wouldn’t you jump at the chance? Well, Baby Blue is here to give satisfaction. The perfect miniature Blue Spruce, this great dwarf form fits into small lawns as well as garden beds and corners around your house. If you live in colder regions, then this is the ideal plant for that stand-out specimen that will bring character and color to your garden.
  • Ideal dwarf and upright form
  • Perfect bright silver-blue color
  • Needs no trimming to have perfect symmetry
  • Hardy and trouble-free
  • Thrives in the coldest areas
Emphasis, mine.  Don't mind if I do.  

Here's a look at the IB2DWs bed pre-planting with the Baby Blue Spruce trees:


I opted to plant this first Baby Blue Spruce down by the sidewalk, about 3/4 of the way towards the back of the bed.  See below:


My 2023 Fall Planting List - so far - includes a number of new and divided plants.  And now one tree.

Now up to 28 new plants.  3 new via division.  1 Tree.  32 total for 2023 #FallPlanting.



2023 marks my seventh tree-planting season.

This is the 15th tree planted in 2023 with a BUNCH more coming soon.  I'll be breaking the high-water mark of 17 trees planted in one season with a few more posts in the coming days/week.

We (now) have 65 of 92 trees that we've planted.   70.6% success rate over seven years.  

92 trees planted/7 growing seasons = 13.14 trees on average planted each season
65 trees alive/7 growing seasons = 9.28 trees on average survive each season.

Here's the full accounting:

2017 (9 planted. 5 Dead. 6 total (including 2 replacements) of the original annual total alive now):
1. Flowering Pear in backyard on north side.
2. Flowering Pear in front yard by garage. (LOST and replaced)
3. Japanese flowering cherry.  Lost in 2023.  Could be the Walnut tree that took it.
4 and 5: 2 Lindens that I espalier'd and placed by the south fence line near our kitchen windows.
6. A Dawn Redwood from Earth Day 2017 (LOST and replaced)
7. Nat's Saucer Magnolia in our front yard
8. A Corkscrew Willow all the way in the back (LOST)
9. A Crimson King Norway Maple near the trampoline

2018 (17 planted. 6 Dead):
10. Another flowering pear from Earth Day 2018
11. Red Maple Sun Valley tree from Earth Day 2018.
12. Weeping Cedar tree - our first evergreen.  (LOST)
13. The weeping flowering cherry tree that the Babe planted for Earth Day 2018.
14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21. These Frans Fontaine Hornbeams
22. A replacement Chanticleer Pear tree (3" caliper) out front by our garage
23. Our second evergreen - a short Fraser Fir Christmas Tree out by the trampoline. (LOST)
24. This Canadian Hemlock that is the first of nine that our landscape plan calls for in the backyard. (LOST)
25. Our replanted/replacement Dawn Redwood. Same spot as the first.
26. This teeny-tiny Bald Cypress that I planted in the front yard, in between our driveway and our neighbor to the north.

2019 (9 planted.  5 Dead):
27, 28, 29.  A set of three small Canadian Hemlock Trees in our far backyard. (Two Lost)
30, 31, 32.  This second set of three small Canadian Hemlocks along the north fence line. (One Lost)
33.  My new Weeping White Spruce that will only grow about 4' wide placed near the fence line alongside the espalier'd Lindens.
34.  A NEW Dwarf Alberta Spruce planted near the south fence line.  Our first "dwarf" tree.
35.  This new Hakuro Nishiki Willow (Dappled Willow) tree planted close to the flowering cherry on the southside.  LOST - October 2020.

37.  A very thin Lombardy Poplar tree - columnar form - in the way back wood chip area.  LOST - July 2020.
38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45.  These apple trees in a Belgian Fence espalier.
46.  A small Northern Red Oak tree - our first Oak tree planted.
47.  A 'decapitated' Lavender Twist Weeping Redbud that I planted on a whim.
48.  A replacement (from the nursery) Lavender Twist Redbud planted close to the brother.
49.  A tall(ish) London Plane tree that suffered some transplant and frost shock, but seemed to recover. 
50.  Our second contorted tree - this one inspired by Disneyland Paris: a Harry Lauder's Walking Stick tree.
51.  Our third contorted tree - but one that checks A LOT of boxes.  Deciduous conifer.  Weeping.  Contorted.  Japanese.  Planted behind the front Maple - the Horstmann's Recursive Weeping Contorted Larch.  LOST - Aug 2020.
52.  Via the Morton Arboretum Plant Sale - a columnar tree from Japan - the Red Fox Katsura Tree that I planted as an understory tree to the dying Chanticleer Pear Tree next to our driveway. 

2021 (16 planted and 13 alive):
53.  A tiny bareroot Shagbark Hickory from the Benet Academy Environmental Club planted in the backyard.   LOST - May 2023
54.  Our first Japanese Maple - a dwarf Tamukeyama Maple planted in the south backyard bed LOST - May 2023
55.  A large Weeping Nootka Falsecypress from Wannemaker's planted in the new bed on the northside. 
56.  A long-sought-after Emperor I Japanese Maple - our second Japanese Maple - that is now planted on the border near our new-to-be-created fire pit area in the backyard. 
59.  A dwarf Japanese White Pine - Pinus Parviflora Nana (or perhaps something else).  LOST 2022.
64.  A second, tiny Ginko tree - this was a replacement for #62 - planted 'ib2dw'.
65.  A small - and ALL Green - Pagoda Dogwood (Cornus alternifolia) planted in front of the back Yews.
66. 67. 68.  A trio of London Planetree 'Bloodgood' trees that are planted along the fence that I'm going to attempt to pleach.

2022 (9 planted and 7 alive):
69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. Six Green Giant Thujas trees planted as an upright evergreen layer in the backyard. Thuja standishii plicata. TWO LOST.  May 2023.
75. A small Saratoga Ginko tree planted in our front yard by the front walk.
76.  A London Planetree Exclamation planted in our parkway.  A bandit tree of sorts.

2023 (15 planted1 and 15 alive):
78.  Small, Columnar Scotch Pine from Home Depot in early Spring 2023. 
79 and 80.  Dwarf "witches broom" Ginkgo trees - Spring Grove - planted on either side of our back stoop.  
83.  A small, but upright red lace-leaf Japanese Maple - Unknown variety planted amongst the hostas on the north side understory bed.
85.  The second of three trees from Mr. Maple - another one-gallon Japanese Maple:  Acer palmatum 'First Ghost' back by the firepit.
87.  Silver Maple Volunteer Seedling in Kitchen Window Border, behind the Astilbes.  
88.  A high-grafted (5#) Acer palmatum Inaba Shadire planted by the wine barrel water spitter in the backyard.
89.  This two-year-old Northern Catalpa volunteer that is on the corner of our patio.
90 and 91:  A pair of Kousa Dogwood Trees planted to espalier against garage sidewall.
92:  A dwarf conifer tree: Baby Blue Spruce - planted IB2DWs near the sidewalk.


1. [This says 'planted', but there are two volunteers on here that aren't 'technically' planted in 2023, I just counted them in 2023.]

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