Picea engelmannii

Common Name: Engelmann spruce 
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Pinaceae
Native Range: Western North America
Zone: 2 to 5
Height: 70.00 to 100.00 feet
Spread: 10.00 to 15.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Deer


Best grown in moist, well-drained clay loams in full sun. Performs poorly in heavy clay soils. Somewhat intolerant of the hot and humid St. Louis summers. The St. Louis area is considered to be on the far southern edge of its growing range.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Picea engelmannii, commonly called Englemann spruce, is native to higher elevations in the Rocky Mountains and Cascade Mountains. It is a narrow conical to cylindrical evergreen tree with descending branching that grows slowly to 100’ tall. It is the most common spruce found in the Rockies and is an important western timber tree. In the central Rockies (Colorado), it is typically found growing from 9000' up to timberline (11000-11500 feet) where it is well adapted to dealing with harsh winds, extreme cold and deep snows. In cultivation in the St. Louis area, it grows much less vigorously and is not likely to exceed 50’ tall. Thin, scaly, reddish-brown bark may have a purplish tinge. Flexible, 4-sided, dark green to blue green needles (to 1” long) on woody pegs. Chestnut brown cones (to 2.5” long) with paper thin scales.

Genus name is reportedly derived from the Latin word pix meaning "pitch" in reference to the sticky resin typically found in spruce bark.

Species name honors 19th century St. Louis physician and botanist George Englemann.


No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to wood rot, brown rot and spruce budworm.


Large specimen evergreen. Best in cool climates.