Blue spruces are quite large trees and many gardeners make the mistake of planting them at a small distance from each other. In this article, you will learn all the necessary information about the proper placement of these trees.
You should plant a Blue Spruce at least 25-30 feet apart so it can develop properly. If possible, give it more space to get even better results.
This recommendation applies to the standard Blue Spruce (Picea pungens). While some varieties need a little less space.
|Name||Planting distance (center to center)|
|Blue Spruce (Picea pungens)||25-30 ft (7.5-9 m) apart|
|Baby Blue Spruce||10-15 ft (3-4.5 m) apart|
|Fat Albert Blue Spruce||20 ft (6 m) apart|
|Hoopsii Blue Spruce||20 ft (6 m) apart|
You can also follow the universal rule that says that the distance between a tree and any other object should not be less than the width of the crown of the tree at maturity.
How close to a house can you plant Blue spruce?
You can plant a Blue Spruce as close as 25 feet from the house, but no less. In this case, the tree will have plenty of room to develop. In addition, the roots will also have room to grow and absorb minerals.
But if you can, plant the Blue Spruce as far away from the house as possible so there is no shade from the house. Even if you plant it far enough away from the building, the tree may not be comfortable because the house can shade it.
As a result, the tree may have enough room to grow but not enough sunlight. Blue spruce is a sun-loving tree and the more sun it gets the more blue the needles will be and the thicker the crown will be.
For more on this tree’s sunlight needs, see How Much Sun Does A Blue Spruce Tree Need?
Can Blue spruce tree roots damage the foundation?
In theory, Blue Spruce roots could damage the foundation. But that’s if the tree grows too close to it.
However, it is unlikely to happen in reality because the root system needs a lot of force to do damage. The crown of the tree must be very large to provide a powerful root system.
Since spruce branches grow horizontally, they are more likely to bore into walls and windows than roots into foundations. This means that you have to deal with the above-ground part of the spruce before you have to deal with the roots.
What if you plant Blue spruce too close together?
If your spruce is growing too close to trees or other objects you need to solve this before the spruce is too big. There are several ways to fix the issue.
If your Blue Spruce is up to 7 feet tall you can move it yourself to a place where there is more free space. But if the tree is larger, use the services of a landscaping company.
For transplanting to be successful, do it only in early spring before the tree wakes up. When digging out, avoid severely damaging the roots. The larger the root ball, the easier it will be for the tree.
Plant the tree in its new location and water it with a few gallons. Place a shading net over the spruce for the hot months in the year of transplanting. Be sure to mulch the root zone with organic matter to prevent the soil from drying out quickly.
The second way to solve the problem of too dense a planting is to reduce the size of the spruce.
You can cut back the young shoots of spruce by half each year and the growth rate will slow down considerably. This way you get a compact tree that can grow in a very small area.
The main thing is not to cut off branches that are more than two years old because they will not grow back and there will be a hole. Cut only the young, soft shoots in the spring or summer. As a result, the spruce will be more dense and compact.
Use only sharp tools for pruning. Before working, treat it with alcohol. It is better to prune in dry weather to avoid the infection of fungal disease.
Removing the lower branches of the Blue Spruce frees up a lot of space around and underneath it. In addition, the width of the crown is reduced, allowing the spruce to grow closer to other trees or objects.
By removing 1-2 lower tiers of branches you will get a lot of free space and reduce the size of the spruce. But the appearance of the spruce will change, it will no longer have a classic conical shape. This is described in more detail in the article Trimming bottom branches of Blue Spruce.
It is possible to grow other plants under such spruce but they will need special care. Coral Bells or hostas are best suited for this purpose.
You need to check the soil moisture as often as possible and water as soon as it is 2 inches dry. Also, be sure to feed the plants under the spruce with a slow-release multipurpose fertilizer.
How far from a fence or septic tank should you plant Blue spruce?
You must plant Blue Spruce as far as 20 feet from both the fence and the septic tank.
In the case of a fence, the spruce needs enough space to grow and get plenty of sunlight. If the distance is short, the spruce may not grow properly.
In addition, if the spruce grows too close to the fence the air exchange around its crown will deteriorate. As a result, fungal diseases will affect the tree much more often, and you will have to deal with the preventive treatment of the needles and branches.
If we’re talking about a septic tank, there needs to be enough distance as well. Even though the roots are not very deep and aggressive, it is better if the distance is maintained. It is necessary so that the roots do not block the normal functioning of this device.
Read more: Planting And Caring For Blue Spruce