Colorado Blue Spruce and Other Evergreen Trees

The Colorado blue spruce is a much-loved tree in Fort Collins, but unless you have a huge area in which to plant one, you may not have room for its 70 to 80-foot size. But there are many other evergreens that are a bit more manageable. Because evergreen trees keep their needles all year, they make great screens and wind blocks, as well as attractive year-round accents in a Fort Collins landscape. From low-growing shrubs to giant blue spruce trees, we can help you pick out the Colorado-hardy specimens that are right for what you need. Just call us!


Bristle Cone Pine
Pinus aristata

Height: 20-60 feet
Spread: 10-20 feet
Shape: irregular
Zone: 2

This tree is a slow growing native tree that has bushy bottle-brushed, white speckled needles that are the darkest green color of any pines. It is drought resistant and wind tolerant once established. However, it can be a tricky tree to transplant. It is best used as an accent tree because of its irregular shape. One of the oldest living organisms on earth some trees date back over four thousand years.


Pinyon Pine
Pinus edulis

Height: 25 feet
Spread: 10-20 feet
Shape: Rounded
Zone: 3

This tree is a slow growing native tree that is extremely drought tolerant. Because they are started from seeds care should be taken in selecting one whose form fits the desired need in the landscape. Pinyon nuts rarely mature in urban settings. It performs best when kept out of bi-weekly irrigated lawn areas.


Ponderosa Pine
Pinus ponderosa

Height: 50-60 feet
Spread: 20-30 feet
Shape: Upright oval
Zone: 2

Colorado’s long needled large evergreen tree does poorly in most plains locations. More susceptible to the pine beetles and intolerant of alkaline soils its best kept in the foothills and mountain locations. Its strong fragrance is that of a western Colorado forest. Its wind tolerance is greater than that of Austrian Pine so it should be considered when planting windbreaks north of Ft. Collins.


Colorado Blue Spruce
Pica pungens var.glauca

Height: 60-80 feet
Spread: 20-30 feet
Shape: Broadly Columnar
Zone: 2

Our Colorado state tree, it is usually selected for its blue growth. However, since they are seed propagated each tree varies widely in the color of the needle and rate of growth. Care should be taken when planting one in the landscape because of their mature growth size. Many clones are being developed that specialize in individual characteristics. However, these trees have not been around long enough to see their ultimate sizes and survivability. Excellent tress for the use of wind breaks as long as long-term watering needs are addressed.


Concolor Fir
Abies concolor

Height: 40-50 feet
Spread: 20-30 feet
Shape: Broad Columnar
Zone: 2

Soft blue-green needles with smooth grey bark make this tree an attractive alternative to the Colorado Blue Spruce. This tree requires more protection from wind and winter sun. Concolor fir needs more water than other large evergreens and also prefers a well-drained soil. Sometimes transplanting this variety is a little more difficult but once established in the correct environment it could grow problem free.


Austrian Pine
Pinus Nigra

Height: 50-60 feet
Spread: 30-40 feet
Shape: Broad Pyramidal
Zone: 4

This evergreen is a dense, stoutly pyramidal pine with a uniform crown becoming more open with age. This pine has long dark green needles. Each tree is genetically variable in its rate of grow but on average it is one of the fastest growing evergreen trees. It is more resistant to the pine beetle than Scotch or Ponderosa pine and more tolerant of heavy clay soils. It becomes fairly drought resistant once it is established.