Evergreen, Adaptable, Hardy, Bonsai, Christmas Tree, Hedge Plant, Screen/Windbreak, Specimen Tree, Cold, Drought and Wind Tolerant
Other Names: Colorado Spruce
Zone: 2 to 7
Growth Rate: Slow
Plant Type: Blue Needled evergreen conifer
Native Range: Southern Rocky Mountains, United States
Height: 30 to 60 feet
Spread: 10 to 20 feet
Sun: Full Sun
Fall Color: Evergreen
Drought Tolerance: Moderate to High
Soak the seeds in room temperature water overnight.
Keep the seeds in refrigerated, soil-filled zip-lock bags for four to six months after the initial soaking, a process that mimics the natural dormancy period they would experience during winter months in the wild. Some experts recommend this method, and others say seeds may be planted immediately after soaking. If soaked seeds are not kept in soil, they may be refrigerated for up to 14 days before use.
Place a 3-inch layer of dry soil, such as peat moss or clean sand, in a small vase. Bury spruce seeds 1/4-inch below soil. Cover soil with mulch layer. Keep the vase in a partially shaded place. Water occasionally, so that the soil is always slightly moist.
Seed will sprout in three to eight weeks. For one year, keep seedling in partially shaded place. Water occasionally, so that the soil is slightly moist.
After one year, transfer the seedling to a gallon-sized vase or larger, maintaining a balance of dry, clean soil and mulch. The seedling may now be kept in full sun. Continue watering occasionally, so that soil is slightly moist.
After two years ina gallon-sized vase, or once the seedling begins to take the shape of a small tree, move spruce outdoors (“outplanting” in botanical terms). Ideally, outplanting will occur in the spring, although trees may be successfully outplanted in summer and early fall as well.
FInd a sunny space outdoors, ideally with dry, clean soil.
Use shovel to dig hole larger than vase used to hold spruce.
Place all soil from vase into hole. If the entire contents of the vase are not transferred outdoors, the spruce’s root system may not properly take hold. Fill in gaps around newly planted spruce with excess soil.
Monitor the spruce during first year of outdoor growth. In times of extreme drought, water soil to aid root system. After one year, spruce should grow on its own without further maintenance.
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