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If it's worth doing, it's worth doing badly
G. K. Chesterton

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Beautiful specimens of mature Colorado Spruce

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Typical Green Spruce. Over half of natural seeded Colorado spruce end up close to this color.

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Caught this shot in fall.

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This one is between 3 and 4 feet.

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Colorado can be planted as an understory tree in poplar forests. If you go with seedlings, mark them so you don't step on them.

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Styroblocks -- 1 liter root ball.

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A 12 year old in my demo garden. When young the branches stick almost straight out, so it looks layered.

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1 gallon pots, ready to go.

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2 gallon pots. Need one more year before sale.

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1 yr old seedlings. Also available as 4 yr olds, about 4" taller but much bushier.


Colorado Spruce

Picea pungens

Colorados come in a variety of colours. Only about a third can be called blue, and only a few percent are that lovely blue-white. The colour comes from tiny beads of resin on the needles. More beads = lighter colour. Smaller beads = bluer colour. Lots of tiny beads = blue white. With time the beads fall off, which is why the new growth is always bluer than the old. Soapy water will wash the beads off, turning the tree greener. Be careful washing the car.

Colorado's have a huge variation in color, ranging from chartreuse to a deep green, to a variety of blues. For this reason, if you are going to plant a row, buy a named cultivar. You are much more likely to get a set that are close in colour. (To some degree colour is determined by environmental conditions. If you want exact matches, buy a container load of artificial Christmas trees, and paint them the colour you want.)

Colorado's grow slowly, typically only half the speed of white spruce. This makes them more full as young trees, but it will take them much longer to become imposing and elegant.

Trees in constant shade tend to be less blue. (Makes me think that blue may be a slight survival factor during drought.)

Colorados are not fast growers. Under average care they grow 6-10 inches per year. By comparison our native white spruce grows about twice as fast.

In their natural environment they show a lot of variation in form, ranging from broad, to conical to almost a column-like pillar.

Colorado spruce are extremely drought resistant. Water their first year, then ignore. You will get faster growth if you water a couple times per summer.

I've yet to find any explaination in books for a survival advantage for the beads, which may be why it's so variable. (Maybe my guess above is right. Then again, maybe not.)

If you want consistent colour, stick with the named cultivars.

Mine are open pollenated stock, so expect a fair amount of variation.

Size: 30-60 feet by about a third as wide. Branches reach to the ground.

Soil: Dry to moist. Doesn't like wet soils. Not good in very alkaline soils.

Sun: Full sun to light shade.

Water: In our climate does well on natural rainfall once established. Water 2-3 times a summer for more growth, but your tree will be more open.

Lawyer's Nursery [What Makes My Blue Spruce Blue](https://www.lawyernursery.com/PDF_static/articles/2010_Jan_What_Makes_My_Blue_Spruce_Blue.pdf

Colorado Spruce Seedlings

Young seedlings in our nursary


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Sherwood's Forests is located about 75 km southwest of Edmonton, Alberta. Please refer to the map on our Contact page for directions.