Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea pungens)

The Colorado spruce, often also called the blue spruce, is a very dense tree with stiff horizontal branches that skirt the ground. It has a conical to pyramidal shape. As its common name suggests, this tree's needles are oftentimes a blue-green or silver-blue color, though may also be green or gray-green. This tree is popularly used for landscaping. It attracts small mammals and songbirds.

Family: Pinaceae (Pine)

Characteristics: The needles, between three-quarters of an inch and 1.25 inches,  are 4 sided, prickly, and range in color from green to gray-green, blue-green, or silver-blue. Cones are 2-4 inches long, light brown, and have wavy-tipped scales. Bark is gray and scaly. This tree has a conical-pyramidal shape with dense and stiff horizontal branches. The lowest branches will skirt the ground. This tree grows 30-60 feet high and 10-20 feet wide.

Foliage: Evergreen (foliage present year round)

Geographic Origin: Western United States (non-native)

Cultivation Notes: Requires low maintenance. Does best in full sun, though can tolerate light shade. Prefers acidic, medium-moist, and well-drained soils. Established trees are tolerant to drought conditions. This tree prefers cool climates, and does not do well in heat and humidity.

Number on Campus: 25

Sources: Dirr, Morton Arboretum, Missouri Botanical Garden