Picea pungens. Getty Images

Picea pungens

Christmas tree

  • Botanical name: Picea pungens
  • Common name: Christmas tree
  • Family: Pinaceae
  • Plant Type: Tree, Evergreen
Foliage colour:


Originating from the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming and Colorado, USA, Picea pungens forms a tall stately upright growing conifer that is ideal for adding structure to the garden during the winter months. It will thrive on any fertile, moisture-retentive but free draining soil with a neutral to acidic pH. The stiff needles curve upwards and are covered in a silvery glaucous wax that gives the tree its characteristic blue colour. The cylindrical cones start off green, turning pale brown as they ripen.


Picea pungens is a slow-growing tree. For best results grow in moist but well-drained soil in full fun. It looks particularly good when planted with other contrasting conifers and heathers.

How to grow Picea pungens

  • Plant size

    5m height

    15m spread

  • Aspect

    South facing, west facing

  • Position in border

    Middle, back

  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Soil type: Clay / heavy / moist / well drained / light / sandy

Plant calendar

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Do not Sow in January

Do not Sow in February

Do Sow in March

Do Sow in April

Do Sow in May

Do not Sow in June

Do not Sow in July

Do not Sow in August

Do not Sow in September

Do not Sow in October

Do not Sow in November

Do not Sow in December


Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do not Plant in April

Do not Plant in May

Do not Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do Plant in September

Do Plant in October

Do Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Take cuttings
Take cuttings

Do not Take cuttings in January

Do not Take cuttings in February

Do not Take cuttings in March

Do not Take cuttings in April

Do not Take cuttings in May

Do not Take cuttings in June

Do not Take cuttings in July

Do Take cuttings in August

Do Take cuttings in September

Do not Take cuttings in October

Do not Take cuttings in November

Do not Take cuttings in December

Picea pungens and wildlife

Picea pungens has no particular known value to wildlife in the UK.

Is Picea pungens poisonous?

Picea pungens has no toxic effects reported.

No reported toxicity to:

No reported toxicity to Birds

No reported toxicity to Cats

No reported toxicity to Dogs

No reported toxicity to Horses

No reported toxicity to Livestock

No reported toxicity to People