Nebraska Forest Service



Date of this Version



Issued by Nebraska Forest Service. Copyright 2005 University of Nebraska.


Colorado spruce (Picea pungens) is native to the Rocky Mountain region and the southwestern United States. It is the state tree of Colorado and has been widely planted in Nebraska and many other parts of the country. It is one of the most popular of evergreens because of the characteristic blue color of the leaves. Colorado spruce is often called “Blue” spruce or “Colorado Blue” spruce. The tree has been widely propagated and selected for color and growth habit. The blue color can range from a very bright blue to a dark green and the tree can often be mistaken for anything from white fir to Norway spruce. Mature forms can be dwarf, weeping, columnar, broad, or more commonly pyramidal. Colorado spruce has been very popular as a farm tree and it is usually rare to see a farm that does not have a Colorado spruce somewhere in the yard. Colorado spruce is not just an ornamental tree and is used for wind and snow protection around farm homes and buildings. It is not often used as a field windbreak however. Planted at about 16 foot intervals, Colorado spruce can make an impressive and beautiful wind break. The tree makes an excellent candidate for Christmas lights until it gets to tall.