Colorado Blue SprucePicea Pungens Glauca
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Picea Pungens Glauca
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Colorado Spruce, also known as Blue Spruce, is a tough, very cold-hardy evergreen tree with brilliant silver-blue needles that is attractive all year round. It forms a striking tree with a perfect pyramidal shape that grows easily into any garden, even in exposed locations. It is resistant to air pollution, deer, rabbits and other problems, so it will grow well in the city or in the countryside too. For that perfect specimen in your yard, or to fill a corner near the house, this tree is ideal. It can also be used to make a privacy screen, and since it grows a foot a year it will soon block in that ugly view and give you garden a pleasant and private atmosphere. Even if you never garden, Colorado Spruce is so trouble-free it will grow anywhere.
Colorado Spruce will reach 20 or 30 feet in about ten years, with a width of about 10 feet, making an elegant and striking feature in any garden. With no significant pests and hardy to minus 50, this is the perfect no-maintenance tree for the coldest parts of the country. It needs no clipping to keep perfect symmetry, remain compact and fully-branched right to the ground.
In cold northern areas evergreens form the basis of the garden, giving structure and brightening the garden through the long winter months. They look beautiful with their branches outlined with snow, and sparkle in the summer sunlight. Rich blue needle-trees are a great choice, since the bold color makes a lovely contrast with the softer greens of other bushes and trees. Colorado Spruce, also called simply Blue Spruce, is admired by everyone, and very popular for its perfect conical form and brilliant blue coloring.
The Colorado Blue Spruce is one of the very best trees you can grow, both for the color of its needles and for the its broad, dense form that always looks perfect in any garden. Plant it as a lawn specimen; to define the corners and boundaries of your property; or as a solid and hardy privacy screen. Whatever you do with it, this reliable and hardy tree will bring beauty and color to every garden.
Colorado Spruce (Picea pungens) is a native American tree that grows through the Rockies, from Colorado and Montana to New Mexico and Arizona. It grows at high altitudes, so it is amazingly hardy, surviving winter temperatures of minus 50 degrees. This means that wherever you live, no matter how cold your winters are, Colorado Spruce will grow well for you. Not only is it cold hardy, but it will grow in almost any soil and once established it is remarkably drought resistant too, so even in the dryness of summer you will not need to worry about your trees. If you live in an area with a lot of rain, we recommend Paul’s Select Norway Spruce, for the same rich blue color on a tree that grows well in wet climates.
Colorado Spruce is among the most popular trees grown in colder areas. No wonder, because this is a tree that has a lot to offer, and can be used in many ways. Use it for a spectacular lawn specimen. Decorated with lights it makes the best Christmas tree in the world. Plant them in pairs along your driveway for a majestic entrance. Planted in a row 5 to 8 feet apart they will soon grow into a solid screen against the weather, or to hide an ugly view.
When planting, always consider the final height and spread; allow at least 10 feet from buildings, walls and driveways, as you don’t want to crowd it into a small space. When it is larger it can be pruned-up to have a trunk, so that you can drive or walk underneath it, but most people like to keep it with branches right to the ground for as long as possible. Leave room to enjoy the full beauty of your tree.
Plant the Colorado Spruce in a sunny or partially-shade location in any part of your garden, allowing enough space for it to spread sideways without crowding. This tough plant will grow in most soils, but avoid areas that are always wet. During the first couple of years water your tree regularly, especially during hot, dry weather and just before the ground freezes in early winter.
Once established it will need very little (if any) care and will thrive for many years with no attention needed. It can be trimmed to control the width, but do not cut back into areas that have no needles on them, as branches without needles will not re-sprout. Regular light-trimming is always better than heavy trimming.
Colorado Spruce forms an upright tree, with a strong central stem and branches radiating horizontally from the ground to the top of the tree. It grows into a pyramid three times taller than it is wide, with real character and ‘presence’ in your garden. The branches are covered with dense needles about one inch long, growing all around the branch and the needles are a rich silver-blue color, making this tree really stand out in the garden and contrast beautifully with other green plants around it.
It does not have flowers, but older trees produce attractive cones 3-4 inches long. The tree will grow steadily, adding about 12 inches each year, eventually growing to 30 feet in height, and ultimately perhaps to 60 feet tall. If you allow enough room, and the light is good, it will have branches right down to the ground for many, many years to come.
The Colorado Blue Spruce is a wonderful addition to any wildlife garden. While it’s resistant to deer and rabbits, it’s a favorite among birds. The dense foliage provides excellent shelter and nesting sites. Additionally, older trees produce cones that serve as a food source for various wildlife, including squirrels and some bird species.
Absolutely! The Colorado Blue Spruce is often used as a Christmas tree due to its perfect conical form and brilliant blue coloring. Its dense branches and attractive foliage make it an ideal choice. However, keep in mind that a mature tree can reach a height of 30 feet in about 10 years, so plan accordingly if you’re considering this tree for your annual Christmas decoration.
While the Colorado Blue Spruce is remarkably drought resistant once established, it does require regular watering during its first couple of years. This is especially important during hot, dry weather. However, once the tree is established, it can tolerate periods of drought quite well. As a general rule, it’s better to water deeply and less frequently, as this encourages the roots to grow deeper and become more drought resistant.
The Colorado Blue Spruce is quite adaptable and can grow in almost any soil type, from sandy to clay, as long as it’s well-draining. It does not do well in areas that are constantly wet. If your soil is heavy clay or tends to stay wet, you might consider amending it with organic matter to improve drainage or planting your tree on a slight mound to keep the root zone drier.
The Colorado Blue Spruce is quite versatile when it comes to light requirements. It grows well in full sun or partial shade. However, for the best growth and to maintain its dense, full branching right down to the ground, a location with good light is ideal. If planted in too much shade, the tree may become more open and less dense.
While the Colorado Blue Spruce naturally maintains a perfect symmetry and generally doesn’t require pruning, you can trim it to control its width if necessary. However, it’s important to remember not to cut back into areas that have no needles, as these branches will not re-sprout. If you do decide to prune, regular light trimming is better than heavy pruning.
The Colorado Blue Spruce is a moderately fast-growing tree, adding about 12 inches of growth each year under ideal conditions. This means that in about 10 years, your tree could reach a height of 30 feet. However, growth rate can be influenced by environmental conditions and care practices, so this is just a general guideline.
One of the great advantages of the Colorado Blue Spruce is its resistance to pests. It has no significant pest problems, making it a low-maintenance choice for your garden. Additionally, it’s resistant to air pollution, deer, and rabbits, making it a great choice for urban gardens or areas with a high deer population.
Yes, the Colorado Blue Spruce is a very tough tree that can tolerate wind and snow. It thrives in difficult, exposed areas and is very cold-hardy, surviving winter temperatures of minus 50 degrees. Its dense, conical shape also helps it shed snow easily, preventing damage from heavy snow loads.
The Colorado Blue Spruce is a long-lived tree. With proper care and under ideal conditions, it can live for several decades, and even up to a century. This makes it a great choice if you’re looking for a tree that can be a long-term fixture in your landscape.