Colorado blue spruce, also known simply as blue spruce, is one of 40 different species of spruce trees that grow in North America. It is popularly used as a Christmas tree around the winter holidays, and those that grow in the wild in the Rocky Mountain states can attain heights of 115 feet.
The Colorado blue spruce is native to Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico, growing commonly at the 6,000 to 11,000 foot elevation range. It does well on the mountainous slopes of these states, frequently close to a source of water.
The blue spruce matures at a very slow rate but the tree has the ability to live for between 600 and 800 years.
The tree garners its name from the fact that its needles have a bluish-gray tint to them, with some being silver blue in color.
A Colorado blue spruce has female and male flowers but they grow in different parts of the tree. These female flowers develop into cones that are between 2 and 4 inches in length with flat scales surrounding the seeds inside.
The species is such an attractive tree that those that choose one as a Christmas tree often do so as a living tree, replanting it after the holiday passes. Blue spruces have a very symmetrical form and hold their needles extremely well. Birds and other wildlife consume the seeds in the wild and use the tree for cover.
- Colorado Blue Spruce:Christmastree.org
- A Guide to Field Identification-Trees of North America; C. Frank Brockman;1986
Colorado blue spruce, Christmas tree, bluish gray needles
About this Author
John Lindell has written articles for "The Greyhound Review" and various other online publications. A Connecticut native, his work specializes in sports, fishing and nature. Lindell worked in greyhound racing for 25 years.