Landscaping Tips: Facts About and Planting Instructions for Blue Spruce Trees

Landscaping Tips: Facts About and Planting Instructions for Blue Spruce Trees

The blue spruce, whose scientific name is Picea punguns, is a popular evergreen tree used by many homeowners throughout the United States as a landscaping tree. Native to the United States and Canada, the blue spruce (green spruce, white spruce, Colorado spruce, Colorado Blue Spruce) is found in growing zones 1 through 7 with a natural range extending from northern New Mexico through Colorado and Utah to Wyoming and into Alberta and British Columbia. The coniferous tree has blue-green colored needles. The blue spruce is also the State Tree of Colorado.

Because of its hardiness and adaptability to most regions throughout the country, the blue spruce is one of the most popular choices of many homeowners when choosing a new tree for their property. It is one of the more popular choices for homeowners looking to local services similar to this landscaping lancaster pa company to aid with the exterior improvement of their home. The evergreen makes a great windbreak, screen, or border tree on a property because of its large height and width when fully grown. Smaller blue spruce trees are the most desirable Christmas tree variety. If you are considering planting a blue spruce on your lawn, consider first learning some interesting and useful facts about the blue spruce tree first. You need to find out what kind of soil your lawn is filled with and if it’s suitable for a blue spruce. If that’s not something you know how to do, you could also opt to have a full-service lawn care in Richmond, VA. This service will make sure your lawn is in tip-top shape before adding any new shrubbery. Also learn how to plant a blue spruce tree to add this beautiful tree to your landscaping project.

Blue Spruce Physical Description

Colorado Blue SpruceBlue Spruce Fast Facts

  • Color: blue-green to silver
  • Height: 50 to 75 feet in landscaping (up to 135 feet in the wild)
  • Width: 10 to 20 feet (up to 30 feet in the wild)
  • Shape: pyramid

Blue spruces are a popular evergreen tree with stiff evergreen needles that range in color from blue-green to silver. Seedlings generally grow to about six feet tall in seven to eight years after planting. Full grown blue spruce trees in the wild have been known reach heights of 90 to 135 feet tall with widths of twenty to thirty feet. However, most blue spruces planted near homes measure 30 to 90 feet tall and 10 to 20 feet wide at maturity.

One of the most appealing physical qualities of the blue spruce is its shape. Blue spruce evergreens have wider branches at the base that taper off towards the top to form a pyramid shape. Its size and shape make the blue spruce an extremely attractive landscaping evergreen. Blue spruces are especially popular in areas with snow during the winter months because the pyramid shape catches snow while still blocking cold winds. The blue spruce additionally provides food and shelter for siskins, nuthatches, crossbills, and other animals.

Growing Blue Spruce

Blue Spruce in WinterBlue Spruce Growth Facts

  • Zone: 2 to 8
  • Soil: sandy, loam, clay
  • pH: 3.7 to 6.5 (slightly acidic to neutral)
  • Light: partial shade to full sun
  • Moisture: wet, moist, dry
  • Life span: 40 to 60 years in landscaping (200+ years in the wild)

In addition to their physical appearance, Colorado blue spruce evergreens are also extremely popular because of their adaptability to most regions. Although the blue spruce prefers areas with acidic sandy soil and full sun, blue spruces can be grown in almost every state of the United States from the deep south (Zone Eight) to the northern border states (Zones 2 and 3). Blue spruce trees will even grow in the southern areas of Alaska. The Colorado blue spruce will survive the heat of the summer and the cold of the winter, which makes this tree an ideal choice for homeowners in temperate regions.

Because the Colorado blue spruce is native to the Rocky Mountain area, this tree will tolerate poor quality soil and is fairly drought resistance. Blue spruces prefer sun but will tolerate partial shade, at least until the tree towers above surrounding plants and structures. Note that, as with most evergreen varieties, the soil in which a blue spruce grows will become more acidic than neutral, which limits the types of ground-covering plants that will grown beneath these trees. However, certain types of plants do thrive under evergreens like the blue spruce. With the proper care, a blue spruce tree can live beyond 200 years. Its life span as a windbreak or ornamental tree is about 40 to 60 years, after which the tree begins to deteriorate in usefulness.

Materials for Planting a Blue Spruce

Blue Spruce SaplingWhen planting a blue spruce tree on your property, you will need the following materials:

  • Blue spruce seedling
  • Shovel
  • Garden fork
  • Compost
  • Stakes*
  • Support wires*
  • 3-inch plastic hose pieces*
  • Mulch
  • Hose
  • Water

*Staking your new blue spruce tree is not required. However, larger trees planted in poor quality soil may benefit from staking.

Instructions for Planting a Blue Spruce

  1. Begin by choosing a 2-foot tall blue spruce sapling that is free of disease and otherwise healthy looking. Avoid saplings with a lot of browned needles. Sapling may come in pots or with roots wrapped in burlap.
  2. Choose the area of your yard with soil that drains well in which to plant the seedling, Keep in mind the full-grown height and width of the average blue spruce.
  3. Call your local utility companies to ensure that you will not be digging up any wires or pipes. Many regions have an agency such as J.U.L.I.E that will mark your yard for free.
  4. Dig a hole that is twice as wide in circumference and a few inches deeper than the root ball of your blue spruce sapling.
  5. Use the garden fork to loosen the dirt around the edges of the hole so that the roots of your new blue spruce can more easily penetrate the dirt.
  6. Add compost to the bottom of the hole if your soil is of extremely low quality.
  7. Lay the tree sapling on its side with the root ball hanging over the hole.
  8. Remove the container or burlap from the roots. Gently loosen the root ball. Because tree roots begin to die when exposed to air and light, immediately place the tree in the hole.
  9. Fill in the remaining hole with dirt. Tamp down the surface of the soil to remove any large pockets of air.
  10. Form a ring of dirt around the perimeter of the hole to aid with watering. Place a layer of mulch inside the ring.
  11. Stake the blue spruce sapling if necessary. Use the pieces of old garden hose to protect the branches from the support wires. Plan to remove the stakes as soon as the tree becomes established. Leaving the supports on too long can damage or kill the tree trunk or limbs.
  12. Water your newly planted blue spruce until water stands in the ring. Continue to water every day until the tree becomes established. Fill the ring until the water stops soaking into the ground.
  13. The popularity of the Colorado blue spruce is proved by the facts about the blue spruce tree. With its flexibility and durability, a blue spruce makes an excellent addition to almost any landscaping project.

Tips for Planting a Blue Spruce

  • Mature Blue SpruceAlthough the blue spruce is a hardy variety of evergreen, the best time to plant a new sapling is during the fall after the tree has become dormant for the year. A dormant tree will suffer less trauma while being moved and planted.
  • Depending on the climate in your region, you may need to protect your new blue spruce sapling from wind and extreme temperatures. Evergreen saplings can suffer from sunscald and broken branches due to heat, wind, snow, and ice.
  • Use blue spruce trees to block wind and sun on your property.

As a popular evergreen tree in the United States due to its hardiness and adaptability, the blue spruce is a favorite among do-it-yourself landscapers. With its flexibility and durability, a blue spruce makes an excellent addition to almost any landscaping project.


Blue Spruce:
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Colorado Blue Spruce:
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