Blue Spruce

Basic Information
Tree ID: 
Genus and species: 
This species of spruce tree is native to the Rocky Mountains. Due to its ornamental value, blue spruce has been introduced to locations far beyond its native range. "Pungens" in Latin refers to the stiff and sharply pointed leaves. This blue spruce sits center-west of Grove Street Cemetary in full sunlight. Its stiff, horizontal branches lend an air of solemnity to the landscape.
Tianna Zhou, Michelle Angwenyi
Collected Data
Tree shape: 
Date of tree entry: 
11.25 m
Diameter at breast height: 
0.37 m

The bark is scaly and grey to red-brown. If the tree is infested by the spruce beetle, a sign of the pest's presence would be red boring dust in the bark crevices. The bark has shallow furrows.
Twigs & branches
Small twigs grow densely between branches. The color of twigs range from light to medium brown. The branches grow straight horizontally and close to the ground. They may droop slightly without pruning. Branches are breakage resistant.
The needle-like leaves (filiform) of Picea pungens exhibit parallel venation. They grow at right angles on every side of the twig. The color may range from bluish-grey to a silvery-white depending on the cultivated variety. The Glauca variety is notable for its bluish foliage. The 4-sided needles may grow to 1 - 1 ½ inches long and have a very sharp point.
Reproductive Structures
This species exhibits spring cone production. Cones are inconspicuous and not showy; they may be green, orange, and purple. The species is monoecious, and the male cones are reddish and mature to become brown, whereas female cones are purple. The male cones are all throughout the tree, whereas the female cones are at the top of the tree, which helps to facilitat cross polination.
Cones are dry, hard, and pale brown. They grow between 5 to 10 cm long and do not attract wildlife. The shape is elongated and oval.
  • Spring
  • Summer
Natural range of distribution: 
Picea pungens grows best in part shade or full sun. Although drought tolerant, it prefers rich, moist soil and benefits from mulching and irrigation in dry weather.
Origin, history, and uses: 

Picea pungens is native to North America. Uses include ornamental and screening functions, most prominently as a high-value specimen of Christmas trees. Twigs have ceremonial value among the Navajo and Keres Tribes.

Picea pungens is also the state tree of Colorado and Utah.

As an evergreen species, the leaves do not shed or change colors. The tree's appearance varies little over the four seasons.

Gilman, Edward F., and Dennis G. Watson. “Picea Pungens.” Environmental Horticulture. University of Florida, 1994. Web. 27 Apr. 2016.

Nesom, Guy. “BLUE SPRUCE.” Plant Guide. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, 13 Feb. 2003. Web. 20 Apr. 2016.

Seiler, J., Jensen, E., Niemiera, A. and Peterson, J. “Blue Spruce”. Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation vTree. Virginia Tech. Web. 27th Apr. 2016.