Colorado Spruce (Picea pungens)

Colorado Spruce (Picea pungens) (119352 bytes) Colorado Spruce (Picea pungensis a hardy and adaptable evergreen tree. A native, it was named the official state tree of Colorado in 1939. Its growth habit can be dwarf, weeping, broad, columnar (at right) or pyramidal with branches that are not usually limbed up but allowed to reach the ground. Hardy to zone 2, this evergreen prefers well-drained soil and full sun, especially the blue types which may lose their color when grown in shade. It grows 30-60 feet in height and 20-30 feet in width. Adaptable to a wide range of conditions, it will tolerate poor, clay, rocky, and dry soils of acidic, neutral or alkaline pH. It is especially drought tolerant and accepting of urban pollution.
Colorado Spruce foliage (4532 bytes) spruce,colorado blue foliage (5302 bytes) Foliage is evergreen, consisting of needles that are 4-sided, stiff, in-curved and prickly. They can be green to bluish-green and persist for 7 to 10 years.
   
spruce male flowers (6296 bytes) Flowers are both male and female (monoecious) on the same tree. Female  are usually found in the upper branches of the tree, and male the lower branches. The male flowers, or pollen cones, are yellowish-brown in color.
spruce,colorado cone (5213 bytes) Cones are 4 to 6 inches long, cylindrical, and tapering slightly at the tips. A  shiny chestnut brown, they mature in fall. The cone scales are pointed and irregularly toothed.
spruce seed (2926 bytes) Seeds are winged, with two per scale.
spruce bark (2497 bytes) Bark is relatively thin, gray to brown, with moderate ridges and scales.

Photos: Judy Sedbrook

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Date last revised: 01/05/2010