Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Engelmann Spruce, Silver Spruce, Mountain Spruce, Columbian Spruce
Picea engelmannii

Family: Pinaceae (py-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Picea (PY-see-uh) (Info)
Species: engelmannii (en-gel-MAH-nee-eye) (Info)

Synonym:Picea glauca subsp. engelmannii
Synonym:Picea glauca var. engelmannii

2 vendors have this plant for sale.


over 40 ft. (12 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)
USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Dea
Thumbnail #1 of Picea engelmannii by Dea

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #2 of Picea engelmannii by kennedyh

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #3 of Picea engelmannii by kennedyh


1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Xenomorf On Aug 13, 2009, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

This Spruce tree has been known to reach 100 ft. high and the trunk to reach 3 ft. thick, but only rarely this height & Thickness in Arizona. The bark is scaly and thin and purplish to reddish brown. The 2.5 " long, pendent cones are a chestnut brown with paper-like scales. The tip of the cone is thinner, rounder and stiff. The 1.25" long needles are pale blue-green or dark green, flexible, curved and have four sides in the cross section. This tree occurs in nature at about 8000-12,000 ft elevation in moist Spruce-fir forests. The twigs have minute hairs on them. The crown of the tree is cone-shaped pointed and narrow. This tree is easily uprooted by strong winds because it has a shallow root system. The wood is full of knots and fairly weak and is used by native americans for hoops and bows. In Arizona, one place you will find this Spruce will be near the Mexican Hay Lake.
One can distinguish the Blue Spruce (Picea pungens) from the Engelmann Spruce (Picea engelmannii) because the Blue Spruce has shorter cones with scales thinner at the tips, it has brownish scaly bark and flexible needles. If you squeeze a Spruce branch and it hurts your hand, then it's more than likely Engelmann Spruce.
This Conifer is native to AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA & WY in the U.S.A., and in Canada it is native to AB & BC.

Positive melody On Dec 8, 2004, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

A wonderful confer that is useful as a garden tree and also as lumber.

A striking accent in anyone's planting scheme, a slow growing tree thta won't outgrow it's welcome in a short amount of time. It's best to give it some room though, because over quite a few years, it can attain a pretty large mass.

Englemann is one of the finest woods from the spruce family, being used in cabinets and furniture. It's most special use is tops for stringed instruments. Englemann is prized and desired for it's tonal quality and luithiers will charge extra for the addition of an Englemann top. It's tight grain and light color make it easy to spot when looking at musicial instruments.

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