A Colorado blue spruce in an urban setting
Cones of a Colorado blue spruce
Needles of a Colorado blue spruce
Scientific Name: Picea pungens var. glauca
Foliage: Evergreen needles
Height: 90 to 135 feet
Spread: 20 to 30 feet
The needle-like evergreen foliage of the Colorado Blue Spruce has a very stiff appearance. Its foliage color varies from blue-green to silver.
Zone: 3 to 8
Light: Partial shade to full sun
Moisture: Wet, moist, or dry
Soil Type: Sandy, loam or clay
pH Range: 3.7 to 6.5
Suggested uses for this plant include windbreak, screen, border, and specimen plant.
Prefers moist, rich soil and full sunlight.
More drought tolerant than other spruce trees.
For consistent color, choose a named cultivar that has been vegetatively propagated. (Foliage color varies greatly in trees grown from seed.)
Maintenance sometimes needed to control insect pests.
Prune dead wood in early spring.
Water young trees thoroughly once a week in hot, dry weather. Hose should be placed at base of plant and water should trickle into soil.
Spruce gall aphid causes tips of branches to die.
Other pests include spruce budworm and spider mite.
Pest damage can ruin formal symmetry of tree.
Consult local sources, including historic or public gardens and arboreta, regarding cultivars and related species that grow well in your area.
Cultivars of PICEA PUNGENS
`Hoopsii' is one of the best cultivars for consistent silvery color.
Placing this tree in a landscape is difficult because it is so dominant. It is best used as a single specimen plant for accent.
Other plants make better choices for use as screens and mass plantings.
The branches droop, and the plant loses its shape in old age.
This material was developed by Carol Ness as part of the Interactive Design and Development Project funded by the Kellogg Foundation. Mary Miller, Project Director. Diane Relf, Content Specialist, Horticulture. Copyright 1989 by VCE.