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Picea × lutzii - Lutz spruce

In a few restricted areas of north-western North America, in Alaska and north-western British Columbia, the ranges of the continental white spruce (P. glauca) and the extremely maritime sitka spruce (P. sitchensis) overlap. In these areas, the American H. J. Lutz discovered this intermediate form, which is named after him, in the 1950s.

Characteristics of both parent species can be seen in Lutz spruce: the long sharp needles of the Sitka spruce, but the round cross-section from the white spruce, combined with the latter’s bluish colour. This hybrid is one of the very few tree species to grow successfully in Europe’s northernmost arboretum at Norway’s Vardø, on the coast of the Arctic Ocean. It has also been noteworthy for its rapid growth in Greenland.

At Mustila there are small plantations of two differing provenances. One is from Seward in Alaska, close to the Pacific coast, the other from 600m asl in the valley of the River Skeena beyond the coastal mountain range of British Columbia. Planted in 2003-2004, the progress of these young trees is being followed with interest.


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