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Colorado Spruce

A Colorado spruce in an urban setting picea-pungens-2.jpg Colorado spruce
A Colorado spruce in an urban setting
G. Lumis
Cones of a Colorado spruce
G. Lumis
Colorado spruce
G. Lumis

Scientific Name: Picea pungens

Hardiness Zones: 2 to 6 
Height: 60 ft
Spread: 20 ft
Form: pyramidal 
Type: narrow-leaved evergreen tree 
Annual Growth Rate: less than 12 inches 

Comments
Colorado Spruce is often present in landscapes in the form of one of its cultivars with bluish foliage. The tree does not deserve its popularity. It becomes a very tall, blue tower, decorated with galls at the branch tips as canker diseases disfigure the tree at an early age. The tree should be enjoyed while young but should not be considered permanent. Consider using bluish cultivars of Abies concolor or Pseudotsuga menziesii as a substitute. 

Cultivars 
'Bakeri' - Deep blue foliage is combined with a dwarf form. 

'Bizon Blue' - Bright blue foliage is displayed on a symmetrical, pyramidal plant reaching a height of 35 feet and a spread of 15 feet.

'Blue Select' - A blue cultivar with fast growth and uniform shape. 

'Compacta' cultivar of Colorado Spruce
G. Lumis

 

'Compacta' - A dense, compact selection with bright, blue foliage.

'Fat Albert' - A full, pyramidal habit is combined with bluish foliage. An Iseli Nursery selection. 

var. glauca - Same growth habit as the species but with bluish foliage. These are often grown from seed and will vary in the intensity of the blue foliage color. 

'Glauca Pendula' - A weeping cultivar that requires staking when young or it may be allowed to spread as a ground cover. May be called 'Glauca Procumbens' if not staked and allowed to sprawl on the ground. 

'Globe' - Globe-shaped when young but more mounded or upright with age. The foliage is green. 

'Globosa' - A globe-shaped dwarf with bluish foliage. 

'Green Spire' - A green form with a dense, pyramidal habit.
 
'Henry B. Fowler' - The bluish gray needles are extremely sharp. The plants are wide, dense and reach a height of about 25 feet. The growth rate is rather slow. 

'Hillside #1' - A compact selection with grayish-green needles. 

'Hoopsii' - Bright blue foliage otherwise the growth habit is that of the species. 

'Hoto' - Fast-growing, conical plant with bluish-gray foliage. 

'Hunnewelliana' - A dwarf with bluish foliage and a conical growth habit. The plant may reach a height of 24 feet and a spread of 15 feet after 50 years.

'Iseli Fastigiate' - Described by Iseli Nursery as a "fat, steel-blue cigar." 

'Iseli Foxtail' - An open, pyramidal tree with longer needles at the base of the shoot than at the tip. 

'Iseli Select' - A symmetrical, upright, pyramidal shape with bluish foliage. 

'Fat Albert' cultivar of Colorado Spruce
G. Lumis

 

'Koster' - This cultivar has blue foliage, a fast growth rate and a conical form. 

'Mesa Verde' - A dwarf, with green foliage and the ability to tolerate adverse sites. 

'Mission Blue' - A dense, pyramidal selection with blue foliage. 

'Moerheimii' - A light blue selection but it may require staking in order to develop an upright shape. 

'Mrs Cessarini' - A bright green, dense, flat mound. 

'Montgomery' - A globe-shaped plant with blue foliage becoming broadly pyramidal with age. 

'Shilo-Weeping' - A weeper with an upright leader and pendulous side branches. 

'St. Mary's Broom' - A dwarf, mounding, blue selection that has no tendency to grow a leader. 

'Thomsen' ('Thompsenii', 'Thompsen') - A selection with good silvery blue foliage color. 

'Thume' - A mounded plant only 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide. 

'Tiffin' A Canadian selection with a dense, compact habit, slow growing, good blue foliage color. 

'Walnut Glen' - The foliage is both yellow and blue.