Plant of the Month: Spruces

These evergreen conifers are known for their upright pyramidal growth. Some varieties are even grown by Christmas tree farms specifically for their shape.

Heights vary between varieties, with most averaging between 30-60 feet tall at maturity. Dwarf varieties do exist, allowing those of us with smaller yards to enjoy these trees too.


Full sun, at least 6 hours per day.

Moist, well-draining soil. Spruces generally prefer a pH between 6.0-7.5 but they are highly tolerant of more acidic or more alkaline soils. These trees can handle most soil types, but they tend to do better in looser soils. Amend compacted or clay soils with Lobster Compost.

Prune in late winter/early spring when the tree is dormant.

Fertilize in spring and fall with a tree and shrub fertilizer like Fertilome Tree & Shrub.

Some of Our Favorite Varieties

Dwarf Alberta

Dwarf Alberta – One of the smallest spruces, Dwarf Alberta Spruces average 6-10 feet tall at maturity. They are also extremely slow growing, taking as long as 30 years to reach full size, which makes them a suitable choice for containers.


Colorado Spruce – Also known as Blue Spruce and Colorado Blue Spruce, this tree stands out due to its silvery-blue needles. One of the larger varieties, Colorado Spruces average 50-75 feet tall at maturity.

Black Hills

Black Hills – A smaller variety with dark green needles, Black Hills Spruces average 20-40 feet tall at maturity. A popular choice for use as a plant-able Christmas tree.


Norway Spruce – Averaging 40 to 60 feet tall at maturity, Norway  Spruces are one of the fastest growing varieties and can grow as much as 1-2 feet per year.