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Colorado Blue Spruce

Height        35 – 55'

Width         15 – 20'

Zone           2 – 7

Shape        Dense pyramid

Needles     Bluish-green

Colorado Blue Spruce is a popular spruce due to its bluish needle color. Color does vary more than other spruce varieties giving the landscape nice variety.  Native to North America it has been introduced successively in many other areas as an ornamental and windbreak tree. Because of their color and dense foliage they are often used as Christmas trees. The needles are about one inch long on branches that curve upward. Light brown cones grow throughout the entire tree. The Blue Spruce grows best with abundant moisture but survives drought and extremely low winter temperatures better than most other spruce varieties. It is advised that Colorado Blues not be planted closer than 20 feet apart. Good separation allows good air movement and prevents Cytospora fungus from causing needle browning and dropping as the trees grow larger and older.

Seed source: Kiabab National Forest, Arizona.

Mature Colorado Blue

Black Hills Spruce

Height        35 – 45'

Width         15 – 20'

Zone           2 – 5

Shape        Upright, Conical

Needles     Green - Slightly blue

The Black Hills Spruce is closely related to the White Spruce (but not related to the Black Spruce).  It is naturally occurring in the Black Hills region of South Dakota.  It is the slowest growing of all the varieties. It makes an excellent windbreak because of its dense foliage. They are very cold tolerant and withstand needle blight well. Branches are ascending from the trunk with short needles (3/4 inch). It is probably the second most popular spruce to be planted in the Midwest.

Seed source: Black Hills of South Dakota.

Mature Black Hills Spruce

White Spruce


Height      60 – 90'

Spread     10 – 15'

Zone         2 – 6

Shape       Broad pyramid

Needles    Light Green to Green

The White Spruce, when young, has a broad dense shape becoming more narrow and with age. It's foliage ranges from light green to bluish green. It prefers full sun and moist, well drained soil. White Spruce is one of the most environmentally tolerant spruces. It can withstand wind, heat, cold, drought and light shade. Use as a stand alone ornamental, or in windbreaks and hedges.

Seed source: Upper Michigan

Mature White Spruce

Black Spruce



Height     30' – 50'

Spread    20' – 30'

Zone       2 – 6

Shape     Upright, Narrow, Conical

Needles   Blue-green

The Black Spruce is a slower growing variety of spruce reaching heights of about 50 ft. It tolerates drought but will do better than most in wetter soils.  Its needles are short, dark bluish-green, and about one half inch long. The dark purple cones are the smallest of all the spruce varieties, forming only at the top of the tree. Not commonly used for landscaping, Black Spruce is a good choice to replace drowned out evergreens in windbreaks. It is native to North America and hardy into zone 2.

Mature Black Spruce

Norway Spruce



Height     60' – 100'

Spread    25' – 30'

Zone        2 – 7

Shape      Pyramidal 

Needles   Bright green


Norway Spruce is the fastest growing spruce averaging 2 feet of growth a year when young.  A tall, hardy, versatile spruce, the Norway serves well as a stand alone landscaping tree or as a windbreak tree. Originating in Europe, Norway Spruce is well adapted to the United States and Canada generally living well over 100 years. Its needles are up to 1 inch long and the cones are the longest of all spruce varieties at 4 to 6 inches.  

Mature Norway Spruce

Serbian Spruce


Height     50' – 60'

Spread    20' – 25'

Zone        4 – 7

Habit        Narrow, Pyramid

Foliage    Glossy green

The Serbian Spruce is a beautiful, dense, narrow pyramid with graceful pendulous branches. Its needles are flat, shiny green above and whitish underneath. The two toned needles are very showy as the branches move in the wind exposing the white undersides. Plants grow best in full sun or partial shade on moist, well drained soils. Serbian Spruce is adaptable to most soil types. The narrow habit makes it useful for many sites. It is considered one of the finest landscape evergreens.

 Seed source: Slovenia

Mature Serbian Spruce
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