Habitat & Geography


Assorted Conifer forest


Picea pungens is most commonly found growing along streamsides in mountain valleys, where moisture levels in the soil are greater than the often low rainfall in the area would suggest. Large conifer forests in the western U.S. hold the majority of wild Blue Spruce, although you may see Spruce populations nearly anywhere in that area. The Rocky Mountains in Colorado, home to many Colorado Blue SpruceThe Rocky Mountains of Colorado are a great place to find a Blue Spruce. Most often found wild in Utah and Colorado, occasionally making appearances in New Mexico and Wyoming.  Native grown Spruce tend to live in higher altitudes from 1,750-3,000 m but non-native grown Spruce can inhabit any range of landscape due to their ability to adapt.  P. pungens is a species of spruce native to western North America although it is cultivated in all 50 states and commonly cultivated in Europe. The Blue Spruce, despite its limited natural range, is able to grow under a wide variety of conditions, and it is considered highly desirable as a landscape plant due to the unusual blue-gray color of its foliage.

Conifer forests cover large areas but have few plant and animal species. Other conifers, and even other Spruces, such as the Norway Spruce in natural habitatNorway Spruce (Picea abies) dwell in these areas. Animals mentioned before, such as the spruce grouse and many insect and worm species reside among the trees and in the soil. Other birds may nest in these trees and contribute to the biome and ecosystem.

The Colorado Blue Spruce plays a crucial role in this habitat. The ecological niche of Picea pungens growing in the conifer forests of mountain valleys includes absorbing light, water and nutrients (for photosynthesis), providing shelter for birds, small game and insects and providing food for organisms such as squirrels and spruce grouse, as well as giving off oxygen into the atmosphere.

Colorado Blue Spruce, native to the western United States