Picea pungens 'Montgomery' / Montgomery Colorado blue spruce

Picea pungens 'Montgomery' is considered by many to be a classic dwarf conifer and is present in many arboretums and large gardens around the world. This dwarf selection of Colorado spruce is broadly pyramidal, with a somewhat mounding form. Dense, compact branching holds short, fleshy, powder-blue needles. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 4.5 feet (1.5. m) tall and 3 feet (1 m) wide, and annual growth rate of 4 to 6 inches (10 - 15 cm).

A true Montgomery spruce is usually globose when young and will eventually form a leader, becoming broadly pyramidal with age. A specimen growing in the Harper Collection of Dwarf and Rare Gardens at Hidden Lake Gardens, Tipton, Michigan is now about 35 years of age and is very pyramidal and symmetrical. It is 15 feet (4.5 m) tall with a bottom of 12 feet (3.8 m). The original mother plant is still alive in the New York Botanical Gardens, New York (pictured in the gallery below).

This cultivar originated as a seedling selected in the early 1930s at Eastern Nursery, Massachusetts, USA. Later, noted collector, R.H. Montgomery of Greenwich Connecticut obtained the plant, named it after himself, and introduced it to the nursery trade. In spite of the fact that the plant was originally listed under the cultivar name, 'R.H. Montgomery,' the shortened name, 'Montgomery' has become so prevalent in the international nursery trade, that it's unlikely ever to be corrected. Apparently several of the dwarf Blue spruce have become mixed in the trade, and 'Montgomery' is often confused with the cultivar Picea pungens 'Globosa'.

Picea pungens ‘Montgomery’ is an outstanding and industry-standard silver-blue spruce that was originally part of the conifers accumulated by dedicated collector, Col. R.H. Montgomery. Prior to selling his Greenwich, Connecticut, estate, he donated his entire collection of 200 specimen trees to the New York Botanical Garden.
Picea pungens 'Montgomery' — the original seedling, donated to the New Botanical Garden, The Bronx, NY in 1949.
Photo by Katherine Wagner-Reiss
Picea pungens 'Montgomery' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by Katherine Wagner-Reiss
Picea pungens 'Montgomery' — this specimen is growing in a private garden near Sissinghurst in England. It is an elegant accent to the gold foliage surrounding it.
Photo by Charlene Harris
Picea pungens 'Montgomery' — the plant shown in this photo is 23 years of age and about 5 feet tall with a 6 foot spread in 2002. This plant is growing in the Heartland Collection, Bickelhaupt Arboretum, Clinton, Iowa.
Photo by Chub Harper
Picea pungens 'Montgomery' — another of the globose, compact blue spruces, similar to 'Globosa,' growing into a broadly pyramidal shape when mature.
Photo by Iseli Nursery, Inc.
Picea pungens 'Montgomery' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by Sandra McLean Cutler
Picea pungens 'Montgomery' in the Harper Collection of Dwarf & Rare Conifers at Hidden Lake Gardens, Tipton, Michigan; photo from August 2005.
Photo by Dax Herbst


Web Editor

Banny sorry just saw this! Dallas has humid summers so eventually all Picea pungens will succumb to needle-cast disease but if it's happy it could last a while.


Will this survive a transplant? I have two of these growing in the garden (Zone 6a, full sun) for about 10 years. They will soon outgrow their space and I would love to transplant to a different part of the garden (morning sun/afternoon shade). Will it survive a move or should I just invest in new plants for the new space.

Maxwell Cohn

They will definitely survive a properly executed transplant. Just make sure you do it now and not wait until spring. If they were my plants and that old, I'd probably bring in professional help.

Theresa McArdle


I just bought one these in container #10. Will this grow in sunny open space in Hartland, Maine (zone4b)? Is this area prone to needle cast disease?

Thanks, Theresa

Sandra Alvarado

how tall and wide would a 7 year old montgomery dwarf be? TIA