Picea engelmannii ‘Whitewater’

Engelman spruce "Whitewater'

After at least 7 years of watching the beautiful parent Engelman, pushing bright white new growth each spring, and late fall grafts that failed, we finally figured out a solution! We obtained scions the day before the first big snow fall in late November and refrigerated the scions until late January! So excited to finally see a close up view of the beautiful spring push! 2023!

Engelmann spruce branch with intense variegated growth.
Spring push!

About Picea engelmannii ‘Whitewater’: This majestic engelmann spruce was discovered towering over a riverbank, and remarkably, it is splashed with creamy white variegated branches. The coloration is intense with spring push and the color fades slightly but not completely throughout the summer. By the following spring, last year’s growth has changed to green, just in time to provide contrast for the beautiful new flush of color!

Mature Picea engelmannii spruce tree showing off splashes of creamy-white new growth.
Picea engelmannii ‘Whitewater’ mature tree sporting beautiful variegated branches!

This mature spruce tree, Picea engelmannii, towers above the lower tree canopy, making it challenging to photograph close ups and to retrieve cuttings! The tree was discovered about 7 years ago.

Finally in November 2020, we were able to retrieve some scions of ‘Whitewater’ during the beginning of the first major mountain snowstorm of the winter season. If we were unsuccessful on harvest day, this beautiful colorful spruce cultivar would have to wait yet another year or more!…..(and it did!)

Newly grafted Picea engelmannii 'Whitewater'
Picea engelmannii ‘Whitewater’ newly grafted cultivar (this one failed)

We were very hopeful that our grafts would take, since this was not the optimal time to harvest or graft Picea cultivars! (which they didn’t!)

Picea engelmannii 'Whitewater' new cultivar
Picea engelmannii ‘Whitewater’ (another one bites the dust!)
Variegated engelmann spruce 'Whitewater' scion freshly grafted.
Picea engelmannii ‘Whitewater’ (and another one that almost made it!)