Spiral Alberta Spruce
Recently purchased a beautifully spiraled Alberta spruce, and although it is not marked as "dwarf," its projected growth is 5 ft. h x 5 ft. w. Is this actually what is referred to as a dwarf?
Secondly, the pruning has been done in such a way that it has the appearance of a swivel straw (trunk exposed with branches pruned to create effect). From the tag put on the tree at the grower or at the "big box" store, it would seem that they miraculously continue to grow this way. I'm doubtful. Should I be ready to prune and how often?
Final question: Am I safe to plant near a driveway? I have about a foot's leeway behind/betwixt and between pavement and sewer drainage.
Yes, this is the typical dwarf Alberta spruce. It is usually tagged like yours at 5', although its mature height is more like 10'; it grows so slowly, though, it will take 50 years to attain that height.
No, I'm sure it doesn't just magically grow that way. However, it grows so slowly that keeping its shape should not be difficult.
They are commonly used near the driveway.
This article has more information: http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/3010/3010-1475/3010-1475.html