Also known as Blue Spruce and native to the mountainous areas of the western United States, the Colorado Spruce sprouts sharp needles as a form of leaf that allows the tree to serve as an effective security measure. The needles often grow silvery blue in color, giving the tree its name. This coloration also makes it an attractive option for landscaping. Due to this combination of security benefits and aesthetic quality, many homeowners find the Colorado Spruce appealing to landscape their yards.
Home Security Benefits
The Colorado Spruce grows leaves in the form of sharp needles growing individually on twigs. The needles have four sides and grow to a maximum length of 1¼ inches at a width of 1/16 inches. The branches also grow densely, horizontally, with some branches extending to the ground. However, the tree loses branch density as it ages.
The Colorado Spruce reaches a maximum height of approximately eighty feet (about 24½ meters) and a maximum width of about thirty feet (about 9¼ meters). The tree presents a striking image because of a silvery blue coloration common in the species and lending it the alternative name Blue Spruce. It sprouts orange male flowers and green or purple female flowers. The bark is scaly and ash-brown. Not all Colorado Spruces are blue; some retain the dull green more typical of other pines. The tree also sprouts yellow, or yellowish-brown cones that grow from 2½ to 4 inches with one end truncated. It effectively breaks strong winds.
These trees prefer moist, but well-drained alkaline loam. They do not tolerate flooding but among the spruce genus adapts best to drought. They require full sun and do not fare well in shade. The tree may suffer from diseases including needle cast, canker, and needle blight. Some insects also infest the species including spider mites, the spruce needle miner, pine needle scale, the yellowheaded spruce sawfly, and aphids.
The Colorado Spruce is a favorite Christmas tree for many families. The wood also makes excellent kindling and burns fast.