The Blue Spruce is probably best known for its role as a Christmas tree, however, it is a beautiful tree in the wild and becoming a very popular ornamental landscape tree as well. Also known as the Colorado Spruce, this tree is native to North America and was first discovered deep in the Colorado forests.
The Spruce tree is a slow grower, less than one foot per year, but it can live over 500 years in the wild! It’s a popular tree with birds, squirrels, and small wildlife as it creates a natural wind break and weather shield from its dense pine needles. No growth occurs under a Spruce’s drip-line because of the lack of water and sunlight. Having sought shelter myself under the Spruce’s mighty limbs during heavy woodland storms, it’s comforting to know that they’re in the wild as you hike through! If you find yourself in need of a quick shelter scan the horizon for this thick evergreen.
The Spruce tree prefers moist soils and you’ll likely spot them on river banks, in lush forests, and in higher elevation areas. They are not found in the dry, arid areas.
Below is a summary of tree facts for the Colorado Spruce:
|Scientific Name:||Picea pungens|
|Leaf Length & Color:||2 inches needles
blue to blue/green
|Fall Leaf Color:||No change|
|Unique Characteristics:||Unique, attractive blue/green needles;
Thick foliage for wind break.
The Spruce is the official State tree of Colorado & Utah and can be found in all but a few of the southern U.S. States. If you need shelter from a storm or some pine cones for a scouting craft, keep your eyes out for the attractive spruce.