Blue Spruce

Colorado Blue Spruce

Colorado Blue Spruce

Mature Blue Spruce (also known as Colorado Blue Spruce) trees usually reach heights of 65 to 115 feet, with diameters of 2 to 3 feet. Because of its slow growth, Blue Spruces can live up to 800 years!

Its narrow, pyramid-like outline and cone-shaped crown make it popular with consumers for use as ornamental and Christmas trees. Needles are 1.25″ long, four-sided with a very sharp point, and are usually bluish-gray to silvery-blue in color. However, some varities of the Blue Spruce take on a “true blue” color that are more bluish-white or silvery-white in appearance—a very attractive quality on the market.

Amongst the spruce varieities, this tree has some of the best needle retention.

Pests and Risk Factors

Pests that can attack this tree include the Western Spruce Dwarf Mistletoe, Spruce Bark Beetle, and the Spruce Budworm. Mistletoe causes “witches brooms”—abnormal masses in tree branches. When the infestation is severe the tree will die.

Range and Growing Conditions

You’ll find Blue Spruces growing naturally in eastern Idaho down through central Colorado and central Utah. The tree can also be found in western Wyoming. The farthest south the tree can be found is in New Mexico and Arizona. It prefers elevations of 6,000 to 11,000 feet.

Blue Spruces can grow in shady areas and grows well in deep, graveled soils—the kind of soil you find along creek and stream banks with high moisture levels. They’re also great for high wind areas since it has a deep penetrating root system.

Uses for the Blue Spruce

Because of its popularity as an ornamental tree in landscaping, many people will plant their Christmas Tree Blue Spruces after the holidays as part of their landscaping.

Blue Spruce is not great for woodworking as it tends to be full of knots and is usually too brittle. It also tends to grow in hard to access areas so lumbering isn’t cost-effective. The tree’s wood can be used for posts, poles, and fuel, however.