Columnar Blue Spruce

Picea pungens var.glauca 'Fastigiata'

Family: Spruce

Type: Tree

Other Common Name: Blue Colorado Spruce, Colorado Blue Spruce

Columnar Blue Spruce, known botanically as Picea pungens ‘Fastigiata’, is a striking conifer that stands out for its unique, upright growth habit and stunning blue foliage. This evergreen tree is perfect for adding vertical interest to any landscape. Its narrow form and blue-tinged needles make it a favorite for both formal and informal garden settings.

Growing to a height of 15-20 feet with a spread of only 3-5 feet, Columnar Blue Spruce is ideal for smaller spaces where a traditional spruce would be too large. Its slow growth rate and compact form make it manageable and suitable for residential gardens. This tree is particularly noted for its hardiness and ability to withstand cold climates.

Columnar Blue Spruce thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. Its distinctive blue needles maintain their color year-round, providing consistent visual interest. This tree is an excellent choice for gardeners looking for a low-maintenance, yet visually striking plant.

Needs & Preferences

Hardiness Zone: 2b-3a

Deer Resistant: Yes

Pet Friendly: Yes

Moisture Preference: Dry to moist

Sun Needs: Full sun

Drought Tolerance (Xeriscape): Yes


Growth Rate: Slow

Average Height (feet): 40

Average Spread (feet): 15

Average Life Span (years): 80

Form: Columnar


Foliage Color: Green

Foliage Shape: Needle

Bark Color: Gray

Bark Texture: Rough

Landscaping Your Yard With Columnar Blue Spruce

Columnar Blue Spruce is perfect for creating vertical accents in the landscape. Its tall, narrow shape makes it an excellent choice for framing entrances, pathways, or as a focal point in garden beds. Plant it in small groups for a dramatic effect or as a solitary specimen for a minimalist approach.

This tree works wonderfully in rock gardens, where its blue foliage contrasts beautifully with the natural stone. It can also be used in mixed borders, adding height and texture without overwhelming the space. The Columnar Blue Spruce is great for breaking up horizontal lines in garden designs, drawing the eye upwards.

Due to its narrow growth, Columnar Blue Spruce is suitable for privacy screens or windbreaks in smaller yards. It’s a practical yet aesthetically pleasing option for creating boundaries or screening unsightly views.


Suitable Garden Styles

Modern Garden

In modern garden designs, the Columnar Blue Spruce adds a sculptural element. Its sleek form and unique coloration complement the clean lines and minimalist approach of contemporary landscaping.

Alpine and Rock Gardens

For alpine and rock gardens, this spruce offers a touch of vertical drama. Its ability to thrive in well-drained conditions and its tolerance for cold make it a fitting addition to these rugged landscapes.

Formal Garden

In formal gardens, the Columnar Blue Spruce can be used to create symmetrical designs. Its predictable growth and evergreen nature lend well to a structured and elegant garden layout.

Columnar Blue Spruce Landscaping Ideas

Use Columnar Blue Spruce in container gardens for patios or balconies. Its compact growth habit makes it suitable for large containers, where it can live for several years with proper care. It’s also an excellent choice for seasonal displays, especially in winter.

Seasonal Interest


In spring, the Columnar Blue Spruce's blue needles appear bright and vibrant. Its upright growth begins to take shape, adding a fresh look to the garden.


During the summer, the spruce continues to provide a strong vertical element. Its blue foliage stands out against the greenery of the summer garden, offering a cooling effect.


In fall, while other plants begin to change color, the Columnar Blue Spruce remains constant. Its enduring blue needles provide stability in the changing landscape.


Winter showcases the true beauty of the Columnar Blue Spruce. Its blue needles contrast strikingly with snowy landscapes, making it a focal point in the winter garden.

Planting Tips

Where to Plant

Columnar Blue Spruce thrives in an area that receives full sun to light shade. It’s perfect for spots where vertical accentuation is desired, like corners of buildings, entryways, or in narrow garden beds.


Full sun is ideal for this spruce, ensuring the most vibrant blue coloring of its needles. It can tolerate light shade, but this may slightly affect the intensity of its foliage color.


Well-drained soil is crucial for the health of Columnar Blue Spruce. It's adaptable to a range of soil types, including sandy, loamy, and clay soils, provided they drain well.


Space these trees about 6-7 feet apart. This allows each tree enough room for growth and maintains the distinct, narrow form of each individual tree.

When to Plant

The best time to plant Columnar Blue Spruce is in early spring or fall. Planting during these cooler seasons helps the tree establish roots before the stress of summer heat or winter cold.

How to Plant

Plant at the same depth it was in the container. Loosen the soil around the planting hole to encourage root expansion. Water thoroughly after planting to settle the soil.

Plant Care Tips


Regular watering is important during the first year after planting. Once established, Columnar Blue Spruce is relatively drought-tolerant but may benefit from occasional watering during extended dry periods.


Fertilize in early spring with a slow-release, balanced fertilizer to support healthy growth. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to excessive growth at the expense of the plant’s form.


Pruning is generally not necessary, as Columnar Blue Spruce naturally maintains its shape. If needed, prune in late winter or early spring to remove any dead or damaged branches.

By Season


Spring Care

In spring, check for any winter damage and prune as necessary. Apply fertilizer to encourage new growth.

Summer Care

During summer, ensure adequate watering during dry spells to maintain health and appearance.

Fall Care

In fall, no specific care is needed as the plant prepares for dormancy.

Winter Care

Winter care is minimal. Columnar Blue Spruce is cold-hardy and requires no additional protection.


How Tall and Wide Does Columnar Blue Spruce Grow?

Columnar Blue Spruce typically grows to a height of 15-20 feet and a width of 3-5 feet, maintaining a narrow, upright form.

Is Columnar Blue Spruce Deer Resistant?

Yes, Columnar Blue Spruce is generally considered deer resistant. Its needle-like leaves are not a preferred food source for deer.

Can Columnar Blue Spruce Be Grown in Containers?

While it’s possible to start Columnar Blue Spruce in a container, its eventual height and root system size make it more suitable for planting in the ground.

Products That Feature This Plant

Shades of Evergreen

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