Colorado spruce (Picea pungens) is an evergreen pyramidal tree with horizontal branches. The tree is native the western Rocky Mountains. The needles are about 1 1/2-3 inches long and have a gray-green color. Variants almost always have a silvery-blue or intense blue foliage (see Colorado blue spruce). The needles are very stiff and sharp and therefore hard to handle with bare hands. Trees generally grow to 50 feet with a canopy spread of 20 feet. Species in the wild can grow much larger. The tree has pale-green cones when immature, becoming brown or tan with maturity. The Colorado spruce is often used as a Christmas tree or as an ornamental garden tree, particularly in the eastern United States and Europe. It is the official state tree of both Colorado and Utah. Genus names derived from Latin pix meaning “pitch” in reference to the sticky resin typically found in spruce bark. The specific epithet means “sharp-pointed” in reference to the stiff needles.
MP #556. Picea pugens ‘Engelmann’
Marquand Park Specimen Label and Coordinates: # 556
Common name: Colorado Spruce, Silver Spruce, Blue Spruce
Scientific Name (family and order): Picea pugens ‘Engelmann’ (Pinaceae, Pinales)
Species Origin: Western USA
New Jersey Status: USDA Unreported
Habit: 80 – 115’ tall; bole 1 ½ – 3’ diameter. Symmetrical pyramidal shape.
Hanitat: Zones 2 – 7. High mountains on dry slopes and stream banks.
Trunk/Stem: Bark puple-gray scaly. Branches slightly to strongly drooping. Twigs usually hairless (compared to Engelmann Spruce).
Leaves: Evergreen, needle-like. Four sided very rigid, very prickly needles, 1 ¾” long, spine tipped, gray-green to blue–gray growing on pale brown shoots. The needles point outward from the branches in all directions. Often blue tint to foliage due to waxes on the needle surface.
Fruits and seeds: Cone hanging, pale-brown 2 ½ – 4 1/2 ” long, ovoid to cylindrical, slightly curved. Scale tips narrow, acute, wavy.
Genus names derived from Latin pix meaning “pitch” in reference to the sticky resin typically found in spruce bark. The specific epithet means “sharp-pointed” in reference to the stiff needles.