From seed to sapling to fully mature tree, blue spruces have an interesting life cycle and can actually live for decades – even centuries!
Let’s explore the full life cycle of the blue spruce.
For many blue spruce trees, life begins in the month of August. This is when the cones reach their maturity and begin to shed from their parent. During the late summer and early fall months, seeds of the spruce are spread by the wind, with most seeds falling within the length of a football field away from their parent tree, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
Once the seed lands, it begins to germinate – typically in the following spring and summer season, following winter melt and spring showers. Adequate moisture is key to a fledgling blue spruce’s success and its ability to develop an initial root system to take hold and resist the elements. As the tree grows and establishes, it can take several years to develop. Studies cited by the Forest Service say that blue spruces are notably slow to grow in the early years, with one study showing the tallest trees – both in northern and southern planting climates – didn’t reach 2 feet even after five years of growth.
After reaching maturity, the blue spruce is known for its dependable seed production with peak seed production starting around age 20 and potentially going until age 150. Studies show that the best cone production is not annually consistent, however, and typically occurs at intervals of two to three years, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The blue spruce tree is generally thought to live more than 200 years on average, although many have been known to exist and thrive for longer. In fact, some trees have been found to live for 600 years or longer. It is between these elder years that the health of the tree generally starts to fail. Factors like moisture, shade and sun and soil conditions play the largest roles in determining tree longevity. For instance, the blue spruce needs to have regular watering to continue growing, but also benefits from being planted in well-draining soil that doesn’t keep the roots wet at all times. In addition, soil pH should be neutral to acidic, says SFGate.
At Spruce Point Tree Farm, we’ve studied and seen the life cycle of blue spruce through generations of trees and many of these beautiful trees are available in our inventory. We’re proud to present our customers trees in a range of sizes and maturity levels, allowing you to find the perfect blue spruces for your landscaping operations or wholesale nursery. Find out more or find the dealer nearest you today by calling us at 970-379-2241.