Tree care on your landscape doesn’t always have to be complicated. In fact, we always recommend that aspiring landscape architects start with trees that are a bit more forgiving to any potential costly mistakes (in other words – keep it simple stupid)! That’s where low maintenance trees come into play…
If you’re not already familiar with the Colorado Blue Spruce – it happens to be one of the most commonly used conifers for home landscaping use, and for good reasons (see our taxonomical description of conifers HERE)! Not only are these trees far less susceptible to the same health complications that other spruces are vulnerable to, but these rather tall trees serve practical and aesthetic purposes as well, including:
- Acting as a wind barrier / windbreak
- Helping to absorb sound from traffic and surrounding neighbors
- Are disease resistant and therefore require less tree service and maintenance
- Helping to delineate property lines, especially when planted in a row as a natural fence
- Attracts wildlife such as: deer, songbirds (siskins, nuthatches and crossbills), porcupines, squirrels, and chipmunks
- And of course, beautifying (or should we say “Colorado-fying”?) your landscape!
Colorado Blue Spruce: A Profile
The Colorado Blue Spruce was originally discovered in the mid 1800s among expansive meadows within the higher regions of the Rocky Mountains. Soon after their discovery, they quickly became one of the most popular trees used for landscaping purposes. As the name implies, the Colorado Blue Spruce is a majestic pyramid-shaped tree that can display a range of colors between silver, blue, and green year-round. In fact, the Colorado Blue Spruce was breathtaking enough to have caught the eye of naturalist and writer by the name of Henry Tuescher, who adored the tree so much that he dubbed it “one of the five finest conifers” in the 1969 publication, Handbook on Conifers.
Upon being fully mature, these trees can reach heights that range between 50 – 75 feet tall with a breadth of 10-20 feet, which is why they are often used as a natural privacy barrier around the edges of your property. Keep in mind; however, that it may take several decades to reach these kinds of heights (although 5-10 feet is plenty of height to secure your privacy). For reference, these spruces can grow anywhere between 12-24 inches per year. And fortunately, as these trees grow taller, their root systems grow deeper and more firmly into the ground which helps protect them from the threat of harsh weather conditions knocking them over.
When To “Spruce Up” Your Landscape
We recommend planting Colorado Blue Spruces in the spring or fall, which you can read more about in our article entitled, “Best Time of Year to Plant Trees in Colorado“. However, since these trees do require ample amounts of full sunlight, the most optimal time to start planting would be at the beginning of spring. Another reason that these trees are so popular is due to their resilience; unlike other spruces, these trees can tolerate both flooding and drought, as well as Colorado’s notoriously meh soil which tends to be alkaline and low in organic matter.
As you can see, the attributes of the Colorado Blue Spruce make it one of the most dummy-proof trees for novice gardeners and landscapers to start planting! It’s really difficult to make a mistake with these types of trees, which makes tree care easy peasy…
Spring Has Sprung
At the time of this writing, it is mid-April, which means that it’s the perfect time of year to start witnessing the Colorado Blue Spruce blossom with beautifully colored flowers, which can range in color from pinkish-purple to yellowish-green. Some can even appear as a bright orange color. Once these flowers have begun to pollinate, it will start to bear 3-4 inch pinecones as its fruit, which mainly begin to appear towards the crown or top of the tree.
And the good news is that Colorado Blue Spruce trees are so common throughout Denver that you probably won’t have to leave your neighborhood to find one, especially once you learn how to become an expert in spotting them. And for you homeowners out there – why not consider gifting your landscape with a few? Your yard will thank you, and quite possibly your home value too! You really can’t go wrong with the Colorado Blue Spruce, and if you’re looking for advice on the most ideal place to plant them in your yard, don’t hesitate to reach out to use for a free consultation for your tree service needs.
Other Helpful Articles:
- Best Time of Year to Plant Trees in Colorado
- Landscaping With The Quaking Aspen
- Native Denver Trees: Cottonwood
- A Closer Look: Quaking Aspen