The Blue Spruce, Picea pungens, is a tree that is predominantly seen in the United States most especially in the rocky mountain areas. It is a coniferous tree with unique blue cloured needles which makes it a perfect tree for ornaments. It grows in the wild to about 23m and when planted in gardens, it grows to about 15m high and 5 m wide. It possesses conical conifers which are evergreen and horizontal branches which has a dense growth. Its branches are yellowish-brown with scaly grey bark on the trunks. Its leaves are radially arranged and they are about 3cm long. Its cones are pale brown in colour and they are about 10cm in length. It is an evergreen tree and it keeps its foliage year in year out. It can also grow in areas that experience hardness.
The tree is very perfect in high elevations as it is a hub for nesting and a perfect cover for birds during the winter. Its total outlook makes gives it a unique beautification and makes it perfect for Christmas trees. They are also used for other types of decorations like lawns and a pyramid set of floral beautification. They help provide windbreaks when they are planted in rows and they have been deployed as living-wall privacy screens because of this attributes. They are perfect for specimen trees which make them good ornamentally.
They have boughs which can be used for different kinds of Christmas decorations with the use of greenery. The boughs can also be used as raw materials for craft projects due to the evergreen nature. People cut the boughs and lay it over a shrub shelter to provide roofing for the bush to survive the winter in good form, shape and size.
The wood from the Blue Spruce is light with a pale brownish colour with a soft and brittle attribute which is suitable for signposts, fuel and poles. It can also be used to brew spruce beer.
Caring for the Tree:
The tree must be protected from dry winds and it requires a very good drainage and irrigation during the dry seasons and weather. It experiences needle drop because it is an evergreen tree which makes pruning a necessity for this tree – though, a very little pruning is required. If you are promoting denser foliage, then pruning is necessary. In spring, it is beneficial when you prune off about half of the fresh growth from every tip where growth occurs to the branches.
It experiences a perfect growth when the sun is full blown. Its propagation is by seed but to get a rarer and desirable form of blue spruce, vegetative propagation gives a better result. It has a dense shade in its bare branches and it hangs onto its needles for about 3 to 4 years. Its growth rate is between slow to moderate with an increase in height of about 12 to 14 inches annually. At full maturity, it can spread to about 10 to 20’ feet