How to Plant a Colorado Blue Spruce


The Colorado blue spruce is an evergreen with stiff branches, native to the southwestern United States. It prefers full sun (more than six hours per day), and tends to have a shallow root system, so you should plant it in an area protected from high winds. The Colorado blue spruce grows well in U.S. Hardiness Zones 2 to 8, and may grow in Zone 9 in partial shade.

Step 1

Dig a planting hole three times the width of the root ball and as deep as the root ball if the tree is balled or in a pot. If you buy a bare-root tree, spread the roots to determine the width of the planting hole. The hole should be the same circumference as the spread roots.

Step 2

Scarify the sides of the planting hole with the pitchfork. Remove the tree from the pot. If the tree is balled in burlap, and the burlap is synthetic, remove the burlap. If the burlap is organic, leave it on the root ball, but remove all staples or ties from the burlap. Organic burlap will decompose over time and provide the Colorado blue spruce with additional nutrients.

Step 3

Fill the planting hole with water (for potted and balled trees). Center the Colorado blue spruce in the planting hole. For bare-root spruces, make a 3-inch mound of soil in the center of the planting hole. Center the spruce on the mound of soil. Arrange the roots at the bottom of the planting hole. Fill the planting hole with water.

Step 4

Backfill with soil, tamping the soil gently as you backfill.

Step 5

Water the Colorado blue spruce with at least an inch of water. Create a watering ring around the perimeter of the planting hole. The watering ring will help divert water to the outside roots of the spruce, and will help you conserve water.

Step 6

Mulch the Colorado blue spruce with 3 inches of compost or pulverized bark. Water with an inch of water once per week. Fertilize the blue spruce in the first spring after planting, then once every three years in the spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Pitchfork
  • Compost or pulverized bark


  • Univeristy of Connecticut
  • Empire National Nursery
Keywords: blue spruce, Colorado spruce, planting spruce

About this Author

Cayden Conor is a family law paralegal who writes on various subjects including dogs, cockatoos and cooking. She has over 15 years of experience as a paralegal, and has been writing professionally for three years. Conor has a paralegal degree and majored in criminology, computer science (programming emphasis) and education.