The Colorado Spruce has thin bark that forms in small scales. The bark turns from pale grey to brown as the tree ages. The Black Spruce has thin, scaly bark that is dark green-brown in color. The Red Spruce has bark with a reddish hue which is especially visible between the scales of the bark.
Conifers with large cones, such as eastern white pine trees, can be some of the messiest trees to grow, creating more landscape maintenance than some people care to engage in. Furthermore, it is a double whammy if you plant such a tree in a spot near where you park your car.
The Sitka spruce is the tallest species of spruce and is the state tree of Alaska. It can be over 300' in the wild, with the largest recorded specimen reaching 318' tall. It will be shorter in cultivation, but make sure there is plenty of room in your landscape as "shorter" is still often over 100' tall. It's suited to USDA Zones six through eight.
White Spruce Picea glauca This tree has often been heralded as a beautiful tree, whether lining the banks of a North Country river or gracing someone’s front yard. But the white spruce is more than just a pretty face. Commercially it, it is a mainstay of the pulp and paper industry and well-used for construction lumber. In landscape, it is a lovely specimen tree or grouping, a sturdy option for windbreaks and buffer strips, and serves as a great visual screen.