How to prune dwarf Alberta spruce

Trimming established trees for a more scale appearance
1. Bob Evans bought many dwarf Alberta spruce trees as bare-root cuttings in 1994. He planted a grove and watched as his forest became a hedge over the years. Letting them grow tall allowed stout trunks to form. Finally, he found information on what to do and now keeps trees pruned himself on his Los Arabis Creek Railway.
Nancy Norris
Have you ever visited a garden railway with realistic, scale-forest trees and wondered how they got that way? I recently visited such a railway with many groves of tall trees; each tree had proportionally way more height than width. These old-looking trees have spaces between the branches so we can admire the flaky bark of the trunks at intervals up the tree. Photo 1 shows a grove 15 years after planting 4"-high, rooted cuttings. If you've allowed your trees to become "Fat Alberts" and want to enhance realism, it's not too late.

Already a subscriber? Register now!

Registration is FREE and takes only a few seconds to complete. If you are already registered on, please log in below.

Want to leave a comment?

Only registered members of are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.


Get the Garden Railways newsletter delivered to your inbox twice a month

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Garden Railways magazine. Please view our privacy policy