Colorado Blue Spruce (picea pungens)

Posted by Super User
on 01 January 2014



The Colorado blue spruce, with its near perfect conical shape, upright growth and bluish evergreen foliage, makes a lovely live Christmas tree.  Nothing is prettier in a winter landscape than a Blue spruce with a layer of snow resting atop the needles of its tiered branches.

The blue spruce is a medium-sized, evergreen conifer that can reach a height of 60 feet and 30 feet at its widest point. The tiered branches extend from a trunk of thin, gray bark. The stiff, dense, blue-green needles render the blue-green hue that gives this tree the name of “Blue spruce.” Its long, pendulous cones, which change from a reddish purple to a soft, light brown after pollination, dangle gracefully from the branches. 

The blue spruce has many cultivars and is one of the most preferred trees to be selected for gardens and large parks. Among the favorites of the cultivars is the ‘Fat Albert,’ named for comedian Bill Cosby’s animated cartoon character. ‘Fat Albert’ is a dense, broad, conical-shaped tree with blue-gray needles on closely tiered branches. It is a slow grower that normally reaches a height of 20 feet but in perfect conditions can grow as tall as 40 feet.

The blue spruce prefers full or partial sun. It requires medium amounts of water and does best when watered on a regular schedule.  A well-balanced fertilizer at least once a year is helpful to keep the tree vigorous and healthy. Otherwise, it is virtually maintenance-free.  Its uppermost branch is an open invitation to a variety of birds that make good use of it as a stage to belt out arias of melodic birdsong or to use as a perch to survey a panoramic view. It is resistant to rabbits and deer and tolerates air pollution. 

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