After the holidays, I wasn't exactly burdened by high hopes for the dwarf Alberta spruce (Picea glauca "Conica") that served as this year's tabletop Christmas tree. Sure, I anticipated a bit more than trees of Christmases past--those conical arrangements of cut boxwood that ended the season as winter mulch or the tempermental tiny cypresses that declined and dwindled into webs of spider mites--just because I did have a greater commitment to this year's tree. That's what a bigger root ball and a heftier price tag gets you around here.
However, surveying the web didn't yield many kind words about these plants. Articles entitled "How Not to Kill a Dwarf Alberta Spruce" or that use phrases like "best chance of survival" do not inspire a great deal of confidence.
After all the ornaments and lights were removed and packed away, I stuck the Alberta spruce in the south facing window of a rarely-inhabited bedroom. (It's hard having college-age kids who flit in only briefly during vacations . . . ) Every couple of days, I drop by to water.
So how pleased I was to see sprays of new neon green growth decorating the branches. The little bunches were doffing their caps and shaking out their needles. Most of the activity seems to be occuring in neither sun nor shade, but along the sides of the tree.