At first glance, you may think you've seen a svelt Colorado blue spruce. Engelmann's spruce also has attractive steel blue to blue-green needles, but becomes a more slender, spire-like tree when mature. This evergreen conifer is native to a large expanse of the southern Canadian Rockies as well as the American Rocky Mountains and surrounding ranges at high elevations. The bark is reddish brown and scaly. The branches are rather short but persist on the lowest parts of the trunk, often hiding the trunk base as the tree becomes quite tall and aged.
The needles are four-sided but flexible. They are arranged radially around the twigs, but angle slightly forward. Leaves range in color from pale steel blue to blue-green. Male and female cones occur on separate boughs high in the tree in spring. Pollen is shed into the wind, reaching female cones that then ripen to bronze-brown cones that shed seeds.
Grow Engelmann spruce in abundant sunshine in a moist, deep and fertile soil that is not alkaline. Soil must have good drainage as well. This species is one of the most common and widespread trees across the Rocky Mountains, and is a popular lawn tree in the region. Use it as a specimen or in a grove to act as a windbreak or screen. (Learn2Grow.com)
Genus - Picea
Species - Engelmannii
Common name - Mountain Spruce
Pre-Treatment - Not-required, but recommended
Hardiness zones - 3 - 8
Height - 60'-125' / 18 - 38 m
Spread - 15'-25' / 4.60 - 7.60 m
Plant type - Large Tree
Vegetation type - Evergreen
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun
Growth rate - Medium
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral
Soil type - Clay, loam, sand, well drained
Water requirements - Average, drought tolerant
Landscape uses - Feature Plant, Screening / Wind Break
Germination rate - 80%
Leaf / Flower color - Blue Green, Steel Blue / --
|Germination||1. Soak the seeds in room temperature water overnight.|
2. Keep the seeds in refrigerated, soil-filled zip-lock bags for 2-3 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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. (info source: eHow.com)