Considering the vast variety of tree species available, selecting the right kind of woody perennial trees for your landscape can be a confusing experience. In order to select evergreen trees that best suit your landscape and your tastes, you need to be familiar with the basic growing conditions that the trees need, such as sunlight, planting space, and soil type.
It would be wise to make a well-thought-out decision because that will not only save you precious bucks and time, but will also ensure that you come back home to a beautiful and flourishing backyard all year long.
In the Pacific Northwest, spruce trees are a common choice of homeowners. While every spruce tree comes with its own appeal, one of the most difficult decisions people have to make is between the blue spruce and white spruce.
If you’re in this same boat, we can help. Let’s take a detailed look at blue spruce vs. white spruce to help you decide which one would perfectly fit your landscape and climate.
Blue spruce (Picea pungens), also famously called the Colorado spruce, is a highly adaptable plant that can grow just about anywhere and everywhere in plant hardiness zones 3 through 7. Characterized by rustic silvery-blue needles, this evergreen tree reaches a height of 30 to 70 feet and is a popular Christmas tree choice.
Its beautiful blue-green color is accompanied by sharply pointed foliage, which makes it the perfect conifer for open and large landscapes. You also have the option of planting a small blue spruce, which only grows to 5 to 15 feet tall and is best suited for small terraces and gardens.
Growing Blue Spruce
Blue spruce is easy to grow but develops slowly. It can survive for nearly 700 years and can tolerate moderate shade. While it’s tolerant of cold weather, it doesn’t grow well in hot and humid conditions.
The tree requires regular watering, especially before frost, in order to accumulate reserves. This enables it to withstand the sun’s rays in March.
Blue spruce doesn’t require too much fertilization—fertilizing them in the spring is enough to get them growing healthily. It’s also a good idea to sprinkle granulated fertilizer near the roots and water it. Garden mulch can also be added around the tree to enable it to retain adequate moisture.
Blue spruce trees require minimal care, and a little maintenance goes a long way in keeping them healthy and vigorous. One of the most significant features of blue spruce is its shape. Its size and shape make it an extremely attractive landscaping evergreen.
They provide shelter and food to crossbills, nuthatches, and numerous other wild animals. Even though they prefer acidic, sandy soil, they can still be grown in almost all regions, which makes them an ideal choice for yards in temperate regions.
Blue spruce stands out because it’s sturdy, boasts of a longer survival time period, and is more adaptable to wide-ranging conditions. With its flexibility and excellent durability, blue spruce makes an excellent addition to almost any landscaping project.
Blue spruces, when planted in a row, also do a great job of offering privacy, owing to their structure. They also withstand harsh winds due to their deep root system.
White spruce (Picea glauca) is regarded as one of the most widely grown coniferous trees. It is hardy and easy to grow. White spruce can mostly be seen near streams or in well-drained, moist areas.
White spruce trees achieve a height of up to 140 feet with a diameter of nearly 3 feet or more. They can be efficiently grown in drained and acidic soils and usually survive for nearly 250 to 350 years. The blue-green needles are nearly two centimeters long with a whitish powdery and waxy layer.
Growing White Spruce
Growing white spruce is easy and safe, as long as the climate is accurate. While it stands tough against the harsh winter conditions, it prefers at least six hours of direct sunlight per day and is also tolerant of shade.
When planted in the right conditions, it doesn’t require much time to grow. White spruce can be grown through the means of seeds and cutting. Its seedlings transplant very easily.
Fun fact: rabbits, birds, deer, small rodents, and porcupines feed on the bark, seeds, buds, and branches of the white spruce. It’s also known to provide shelter to a range of species.
It’s important to note that the white spruce is susceptible to diseases such as needle and stem rusts, cankers, and eastern spruce beetle. These infestations, if not identified early, can cause serious harm to the tree.
Which Spruce Should I plant?
Blue spruce vs. white spruce is indeed a difficult choice, as they have similar features.
Both of these plants play a very vital role in the environment with their remarkable nourishment qualities. Their needles are edible and are commonly used to make tea. They also contain rich amounts of vitamin C, making them effective medicinal plants for our respiratory systems.
When it comes to choosing which spruce to plant, it all boils down to the aesthetic appeal you’re aiming for and the space constraints, soil, moisture, and weather conditions in your region.
Still puzzled about which spruce to plant? Reach out to Mr. Tree, and we can help you decide on the basis of your yard’s conditions.
From guiding you as to which tree to plant and how to take care of the trees to tree removal, our highly trained team of professionals is equipped to handle all your tree care needs! We’ll ensure you always make the right choice when it comes to planting and maintaining trees.
So contact us today and let us assist you in creating the landscape of your dreams.