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Trees of Iowa: An Interactive Key

Colorado Blue Spruce
(Picea pungens)





Native only to the Rocky Mountain states, the blue spruce is one of our most beautiful evergreens and has been planted widely throughout Iowa for ornamental use. It is a hardy tree with compact, dense foliage and a slow growth rate.

Hardiness: zones 3 through 7 (8)

Growth Rate:
slow to medium (30-50 feet after 35-50 years)

Mature Shape:
Regular narrow to broad pyramid with horizontal stiff branches to the ground. Very dense. Often becomes open, poor, and dingy in old age.

Height:
30 to 60 feet under average landscape conditions (90 to 135 feet in the wild)

Width:
10 to 20 feet under average landscape conditions (20 to 30 feet in the wild)

Site Requirements:
The Blue Spruce prefer rich, moist soil in full sunlight, but are very adaptable.

Flowering Dates: April - June

Seed Dispersal Dates: Fall - Winter

Seed Bearing Age: 20 Years

Seed Bearing Frequency:

Seed Stratification: Warm stratification for 16 days at 68F to 85F

Needles are single, very stiff and sharp pointed, angular or four-sided, 1 to 1-1/4 inches long, with a bluish color especially distinct on the new growth.

Colorado Blue Spruce LeavesColorado Blue Spruce Leaves

Cones are light brown and cylindrical, very sharp and 2-1/2 to4-1/2 inches long.

The bark is silvery gray-brown and composed of many thin scales divided into vertical ridges.

Colorado blue spruce grow 75 to 100 feet tall. They make good winter cover for wildlife.

 

Click on a thumbnail image below to view a larger picture.
Colorado Blue Spruce Form Colorado Blue Spruce Form Colorado Blue Spruce Form Colorado Blue Spruce Leaves Colorado Blue Spruce Leaves Colorado Blue Spruce Bark