Blue Spruce


Picea pungens

Leaves: Evergreen. Needles are 4-sided with a diamond-shaped cross section and reach ¾-1¼". Very stiff and sharp, needles grow on all sides of the branches. Fragrant when crushed. Varies from blue-green to silvery-green color.

Bark/Twigs: Light to dark gray bark. Bark is made of grey-black, layered scales. Deep fissures develop in older trunk.

Flowers/Fruit: Inconspicuous flowers during late spring. Light chestnut-brown cones are 2-4" long by 1-1½” wide and papery. Cone scales have ragged edges and are toothed at the tip.

Mature size and shape: Large. 30-60'h x 10-20'w. Grows much larger in nature. Densely pyramidal shape with horizontal branching all the way to the ground. Trees become less dense with age.

General information/special features: Plant in full sun. Moderately shade tolerant. Prefers moist, well-drained, slightly acidic soils. Moderately drought tolerant. Hot dry winds and extreme heat are problems. Over-watering will lead to rapid decline and slower growth. National champion is 122’ by 36’ in Ashley National Forest, UT.

Landscape use and Maintenance: Originally Utah’s official state tree prior to 2014. Use as a specimen or in groups. Makes a good windbreak and visual or sound screen. Slow-medium growing rate. Low maintenance.

USDA Hardiness Zone:  2-7

Family/Origin: Pinaceae – Pine. Native to Utah, the Rocky Mountains and Intermountain states.

Campus use: Extremely common. Can be found on east side of President’s Circle and north of the Bookstore (Bld 67).