Planting Colorado Blue Spruce Trees

Overview

The Colorado blue spruce is the official tree of the state of Colorado. It is a highly popular evergreen, known for its distinctive bluish-green color and tidy pyramid shape. The Colorado blue spruce tree is native to the Rocky Mountain region but also grows in many other parts of the country where evergreens thrive (USDA growing zones three through seven). Growers often cultivate it as a Christmas tree as it does not need pruning or shaping to maintain its distinctive shape. The Colorado Blue Spruce is fairly easy to plant and will make a stunning addition to your landscape.

Step 1

Choose a location that offers plenty of space for the Colorado Blue Spruce to spread its branches. While they are not rapid growers, these trees can grow up to 60 feet tall and 20 feet wide. Also make sure that the location receives full to partial sun and has well-drained soil.

Step 2

Use scissors to cut the twine away from the tree's root ball and wire cutters to remove the wire cage from around the roots, if your tree came with one at purchase. If your tree has a burlap covering over the roots, cut that away with the scissors as well.

Step 3

Use measuring tape to measure the width of the tree's root ball at its widest point, and dig a hole that's that wide plus another 20 inches. The hole should be only as deep as the root ball is tall.

Step 4

Move the Colorado Blue Spruce into the hole, setting it upright and making sure it is standing up straight. The top of the root ball should protrude about an inch or two above the rim of the hole. If it does not, lift the tree out of the hole and fill in the bottom of the hole with some soil mixed with peat moss (two parts soil and one part peat moss) and then replace the tree. This step may take two people to move the tree if it is very large.

Step 5

Fill in around the root ball with more soil mixed with peat moss. Tamp down the soil to remove any air pockets around the roots.

Step 6

Cover a two-foot circle around the base of the tree with two inches of organic mulch. Then thoroughly water the tree, taking care not to splash away the mulch.

Tips and Warnings

  • If your tree is very slender and you live in a windy area, you may need to secure it with a stake. Place a stake deeply into the ground so that it is near the root ball but not touching it, and then use tree tape or twine to secure the tree to the stake.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Shovel
  • Scissors
  • Wire cutters
  • Peat moss
  • Organic mulch
  • Watering tool
  • Stake (optional)
  • Tree tape or twine (optional)

References

  • Nebraska Forest Service: Colorado Blue Spruce

Who Can Help

  • North Dakota State University: Questions on Spruce Trees
Keywords: plant, colorado blue spruce, tree

About this Author

April Sanders has been a writer and educator for 11 years. She is a published curriculum writer and has provided academic content for several subscription databases. Sanders holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in social psychology and a Master's degree in information sciences and technology.